Ignorance (On Health) is Lethal

India has been ranked very low in Human Development Index (133 out of 180 countries) and it SHOULD bother us. Nowadays, a country’s development is measured by its economic advances. Focus is given on the amount of production, employment, GDP etc. However, should money be the only way to measure how far a country has advanced?

The Green Revolution in Punjab has been marked as a Success Story after which the state has flourished extensively. Along with the agricultural development, new Industries and Power Plants have added to the whole economy. However, along with the new variety of seeds, other deadly seeds were sown too. Punjab has been doomed with deadly diseases with its Malwa region officially called ‘Cancer Belt’ of India. In many villages, every other home has at least one person suffering from cancer. The direct cause is excessive use of Chemical Fertilizers an Pesticides and the vicinity to heavy Industries.

experts-believe-use-pesticides-indias-punjab-behind-increasing-cancer-rates-afp-gettygallagher-pesticides-punjab-9

Punjab has been doomed with deadly diseases with its Malwa region officially called ‘Cancer Belt’ of India.

Not only this, high amount of Uranium has also been found in the waters near the Thermal Power Plants that have affected multiple children born in the 2000s and after. The amount is so huge that more than the 85% of the mentally retarded kids in the Malwa region had Uranium levels multiple times higher than the safe limit with some cases levels being 60 times more. The state’s condition is so worse that there exists a train (now dubbed as Cancer Train), almost all passengers in which are cancer-affected and they travel to neighboring state, Rajasthan for subsidiary treatment.

train-for-cancer2
A patient suffering from Nasal cancer is aboard The “Cancer” Train bound to Bikaner, Rajasthan

The state’s condition is so worse that there exists a train (now dubbed as Cancer Train), almost all passengers in which are cancer-affected and they travel to neighboring state, Rajasthan for subsidiary treatment.

The number is alarming but what is more alarming that the issue has taken a back seat. The questions that need to be addressed for this issue are countless. When there has been an evolution in organic and sustainable farming, Industrial Waste Management, efficient Power Generation, why has not any ruling Government taken any initiative to bring the transition to better and safer practices? The campaign focus on bringing the people especially the farmers a financial relief, but is it ever possible if they are not able to remove the burden of deadly diseases that the poor people are carrying. Among the number of issues that plague our country, why the disease, that is almost a death sentence to poor and unfortunate, has not found its way to main talk instead of the sensational news. The unawareness on and severity of Health issues are not limited to Punjab but the whole of the country.

One can talk about growing GDP, or Social/Religious/Economic reforms, however if there are no health reforms and if Human Development remains stagnant or even worsens, the miseries we talk about won’t ever perish.

With the present agricultural and industrial practices, the case of Punjab is warning to India. One can talk about growing GDP or Social/Religious/Economic reforms, however, if there are no health reforms and if Human Development remains stagnant or even worsens, the miseries we talk about won’t ever perish. While many issues may be essential to discuss, nothing can be as important as the unnecessary loss of human life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s