Friday, December 21, 2012

Kerala

DESIGNER ABUSE: is it for real?
Part 1- Introduction
I was a hospital trained RN with time on my hands when I began in 1997 to volunteer in Mother Teresa’s home in Trivandrum in South India. Mother herself had just ‘expired’ as they say of heart problems in her lowly room in Calcutta so I had to wait till the Superior returned from her Indian State funeral before I could commence with her approval. Once sighted, I was immediately accepted to volunteer, without disclosing any credentials not even my name. Though I’d just spent over 6 months in the sub-continent I was still acquiring cultural knowledge. I then over a three month period of daily volunteering of six hours went on to witnessing horrors that I wasn’t sure were a necessity- whether rough treatment was de rigeur cultural  approach to life or whether it was all part and parcel of Roman Catholic cruelty and/or ignorance like what I’d endured as a child.
Time would show me that pinching infants’ cheeks till they cried was cultural but applying boiling hot water internal or external to infants wasn’t. I needed to meet up with locals who were visiting and or volunteering to uncover the realities.  Eventually after I studied up I found locally printed baby care materials which confirmed the obvious that babies universally have the same basic needs. HealthCare adequate nutrition and hydration educational stimulation. The local publications had differing details but the basics were identical.  But the superior refused to look at it–snapping at me ‘I don’t read’. She like the other nuns worked to Mother Teresa’s clergy timetable -formula hours which was but a fraction of the time of what the workers put in – she like most superiors I would later encounter would simply come for 5 minutes a day and bark orders and snap out at workers. Just why Mother Teresa had consciously selected this Hindi speaking woman to be in charge in a Malayalam speaking state?  To be managing the lives of 15 infants, transient toddlers, at least ten physically and mentally impaired children plus at least 20 older girls who slept below in a huge dormitory plus a. Yet her mother tongue was not the local. Moreover the babies I was told could only be adopted to families in this state. This woman who refused to engage outside her Missionaries of Charity program- prayer, chastity, obedience and poverty. Local experts who wished to donate their expertise were ignored.  I finally came across and met by chance due to local guidance the lady doctor who had offered to be a physician to all those MC inmates who required it. She was a genuinely respected doctor who was totally shocked when I described the plights of several of the children. Anil for instance though the MCs told me he’d been with then his whole life no MC had taken up the doctor’s offer to consult and to advise as to why Anil though over 3 years was unable to stand. The doctor assured me she’d visited lots over the years but had never seen Anil. The nuns would direct her to the ones needing immediate advice. But it seemed possible that they must have hidden him from her sight in another room. The one foreigner whom I convinced to volunteer though just for one day was immediately drawn to Anil. The orphanage was large- there would have been many places to hide. Why didn’t the nuns want this child to stand and walk like any other child? The doctor immediately said she would check notes on every child in the future.   As I note later –slavery is alive and well in India. Though people may not be able to walk they still can use their hands to make as I’ve seen plastic camera parts for their keep. With no usable legs they can’t run away. It was only in 2011 the MCs were finally apprehended in their Sri Lankan home for not keeping adequate admission records which could allow for disappearances. However the charges though they were proved to be accurate, were dropped ….
Not checking up on children’s health- a deliberate or unconscious omission? It would take another fourteen months of  volunteering and witnessing increasing numbers of easily avoidable abuse before the truth that I had tried to avoid hit me full-on - it could not have been ignorance that caused these abuses that I will detail - it had to be designer- nobody who had been trained for years –up to a decade before making final vows should be that dumb-  or could they- I lived in a regular RC family and attended a RC school for 14 yearx all the while legally blind- are people too busy to notice that their child requires vision aides…
Here are the accumulated events that finally convinced me it wasn’t/couldn’t be ignorance at least from the top – in my own case over time I would learn my ‘parents’ were in reality only step-parents ..


1 comment:

  1. Thank for the post I've learn a lot from this.

    God Bless!

    link to familycare

    ReplyDelete