India eliminates leprosy

Amongst all the normal news clips being published today, there was one tiny article where the government of India announced that it had eliminated leprosy.

Leprosy has been eradicated from most other countries, however India has struggled to keep it in check even missing the global elimination target set by WHO for 2000. However this news is a major step in complete eradication of the disease in India (elimination is having one case per 10,000 population).

This will hopefully isolate the next generation from experiencing the chronic disease of leprosy.

Book Review: City of Joy – Dominique Lapierre

My introduction to “The City of Joy” has been fairly late, but the brilliance of the book has not faded with time. The topic of India has always been close to my heart and there are a few books out there which can describe the pain and joy of living in that part of the world. This masterpiece by Lapierre truly brings forth the suffering, hope and joy felt by the poorest of the poor.

I had initially read Lapierre’s and Larry Collins book – ‘Freedom at Midnight’ and was impressed by the style of writing. It is difficult to create an eminently readable non fiction book and I was looking forward to continuing that experience with City of Joy.

Amongst my most indelible impressions of the book is to give a slum a human face. For a lot of us who have lived in a third world country be it in Central, South America, Africa or Asia, we have lived side by side with slums and an ever growing city. The eyesore which greeted us on a regular basis is often an object of scorn without us failing to realize in what conditions people are condemned to such an existence.

Dominique Lapierre has succeeded in giving human faces and emotions to the faceless masses in slums. By sharing the struggles faced by the poor, their sorrows and joy, the author has succeeded in opening a window to their existence. The book takes you through several journeys of introspection and privileges enjoyed by us solely based on the accident of our birth.

The book of a few hundred pages may leave lasting impressions on its readers and has truly succeeded in spreading hope and joy to millions of readers, if not inspiring a few more selfless people to devote their lives to helping the poor and downtrodden.

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is a beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is costly, care for it.
Life is wealth, keep it.
Life is love, enjoy it.
Life is mystery, know it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorry, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it !

– Mother Teresa

Starvation affecting millions

An estimated 11 million people are facing starvation in the Horn of Africa. The first few cases of deaths have been reported brought on by a drought which hit northern kenya, ethiopia, somalia and Djibouti.

Children weakened by months of hunger have been the first few to die.

Aid agencies have increased their calls for food and supplies to feed the under nourished. Millions more may perish if aid is not delivered soon as the next rains are expected in april and march.