From the rags to the riches, from the underdogs to becoming the influential , it could have easily been one of the great inspirational true life stories. But one incident changed this and changed this for worse and forever. The only son of the agricultural laborers Lakshmamma and Chandrappa, met with a devastating accident, on the very same day when he was to secure his future as an Aeronautical engineer. The accident resulted in a life threatening brain damage that has left him in a completely vegetative state since the past 15 years.
Mind you not one day, one week or one month or one year, 15 long years, day in and day out, lakshmaamma has witnessed her only son go through this. In all those years Her son didn’t say a word, didn’t take a single step on his own, didn’t react to emotions, didn’t feel the pain of his parents and worse didn’t even feel even his pain. Lakshmaamma’s husband died 8 years ago leaving her alone to face the unjust , unfair , uphill challenges that life has forced upon them. And that too
in a country like India,
- where it’s a curse to be born into a poor family and even bigger curse if you happen to be a farmer
- where value of a human life is cheap but very expensive when it requires medical attention
- where there is a govt and govt policies but by and large only for the rich, for the politicians, for the bureaucrats
- where the poor don’t live they struggle to live
Amidst all this 15 years went by. At an age where one would normally retire or at least slow down the pace of life, or enjoy the company of grand children, but lakshmaamma still needs to think about her sons future. What would happen to him when she is gone ? Who will take care of him ? Will they give the same love and affection ? Obviously she can’t trust the government with this, then who else ?
She took a brave decision, a decision which caused quite a stir, a decision which made headlines, a decision which would trigger fierce debates for and against the decision, but if one puts oneself in lakshmammas shoes one would have done the same. No one can answer the questions she raised, what next after her ?
The court turned down her petition citing the age old
- no one has a right to take away a life
- there is no provision in the current law that allows for mercy killing
Well thats true, there is no denying that. But should it always be that way, can it not be done on a case by case basis, can their be no exceptions made. Why does it always need to be by the book ? Is there a fear of a backlash that if one is granted then others might follow, well then they must deal with it. Time for another boom, we saw the boom in the .com industry, we will see a boom in the law industry. I might be trivializing this but the court should have at least
- immediately ordered the government to take care of lakshmamma son
- reconsider the case, give it a patient hearing, understand why a mother , of all the people, would want her only son to die.
Like I said earlier, the value of human life is very little, especially that of a poor man. The courts treatment towards lakshmamma could have been simply academic rather than being humane.
The parents must have been so proud of Janardhan, their Son, for despite all the odds and hardships, he went on to achieve the unimaginable. Unfortunately, their moment of pride was short lived. Not only did their son’s success story ended before it even started, it also rendered their son completely immobile, emotionless, thoughtless or in medical terms in a permanent vegetative state. It’s not easy for any parent to come to terms with the situation.
And I hate to just blog about this and do nothing at all. I wonder who is in a more vegetative state , me or Janardhan. I only wish lakshmamma finds peace with her situation soon.
I can think of some ways
- fight to provide her son with the government support
- do a signature campaign and submit to the judge
- write to the media so it just doesn’t die down just like another headline story
It just is painful to imagine lakshmaamma go through all this at this juncture of her life.