Shasthya Andolon

Construction labour

Rawshon Ara Begum (43) is a construction labour. The husband has deserted her. She lives at Pallavi, Mirpur, Dhaka. She has been working as a labour for construction since her husband deserted her. She becomes sick of headache if she curries heavy load on head. It is tough to earn my food and how can I see a doctor, she mentions. Four years ago she visited Shohrawardy Hospital, Dhaka for chest pain. The doctors diagnosed heart problem after investigation. She had taken medicines worth of Taka 400/- from pharmacy outside.

It takes a whole day if any one goes to government hospital for treatment. The poor people are neglected there. She demanded for easy access of labours in the Government Hospitals.

Garment worker

Mukti Rani Sarker (35) is a garment worker. She lives at Purabasti, Miapur-11, Dhaka. She works as an operator in a garment factory. She earns Tk. 6,600 as salary and in total she earns Tk. 9.000 including overtime. Due to heavy pressure of work she suffers from headache, stomach pain and diarrhea. Moreover, she has leucoderma. She was affected by this disease after working in the garment factory. She has been looked down differently after she became affected by this disease. Four months ago she visited Kurmitola Hospital for treatment of Leucoderma. She was there in a long qure. At long last she could see the doctor. Unfortunately, the doctor said that there was no treatment for leucuderma patient in that hospital. She does not know the hospital where she can get treatment for leucoderma.

The doctors refuse to treat because we are low caste

Shipra Mardal, a member of Kaora Community, “We are Kaora, we live with pigs, we live with social neglect, hatred and sleep at night without food. We earn our living by rearing pigs. The doctors and nurses feel uncomfortable to offer us treatment when we are sick” mentioned in reply to a question, where you get medical treatment?

The Kaora community in Khulna earns their living by rearing pigs. They move over the country with flock of pigs. Locally they are known as ‘pig boys’. They have to sleep at night with the flock of pigs on the road side. They live under the open sky day and night with rain and sun. The salary of the ‘pig boys’ is very low. They are paid TK. 1000 - 1200 per month. They are hired on contract for a year. The dependent family members, old men, women and children wait for the salary of the earning member. They have hard time to make their living with this small income. The young boys and girls cannot go to school. At the age of 8-10 years they boys go out for tending pigs and the girls are married.

The members of Kaora community suffers from many diseases including fever, cough, headache, gastric, chest pain etc but their access to health service is very much vulnerable.

However same government and NGO health providers have interest to serve only the married Kaora women for birth control in terms of copper T, injection and ligation. This is because the health workers get commission for motivation of the women to take birth control measures. Unfortunately these health workers have little attention to look after the women who become sick after taking birth control treatment.

Adibashi Community

Arnela Rangsha is a member of Mandi Community. She lives at Sagardighi, union: Birishiri, upazila: Durgapur, district: Netrokona.

We belong to Mandi community. We do not get good treatment in Government Hospitals. We are treated differently as because we belong to Adibashi community, mentioned Arnela Rangsha.

The Government Hospitals and maternity hospitals hesitate to accept the members of Madi and Hajong community for they belong to adibashi community. The Adibashi peoples have to go to Mymenshingh Medical College Hospital.

Demand of the Adibashi Community:

• Separate health service for Adibashi community

• Make provision for specialist doctor for Medicine

• Crate easy access for health service.

• Arrange for Gynae specialist doctor for adibashi women patients.

Sadapata (tobacco leaf) consumer

Bashona Mondol (32) is a resident of Kaora para, village: Aronghata, upazila: Digholia, district: Khulna. She was engaged for preparing betel leaf for his father. She was doing it from early childhood. Her father was fond of taking sadapata with betel leaf. Father could not chew betel leaf when he became old. Bashona used to prepare betel with the help of mortar and pestle for her father. She used to take a little bit of the powdered betel leaf with sadapata. She also became addicted to betel leaf with sadapata. She was married with a ‘pig boy’ at her age of 10-12 years.

The time she was married she did not know what are marriage, husband and a family life. She moved out holding the hands of her husband for a new environment. She did not feel comfortable there. She came back crying to her father’s residence. She had never gone back to her husband. She stayed with her father and brothers.

Bashona now loves sadapata. She cannot go for a moment without sadapata. She has continuously been taking sadapata for 15 years. Now she has become sick. She is now living unbearable life. She has infection on her lip, gum and throat. She cannot take any food, even water. She has un-bearable pain in her mouth. She is seriously sick. Please donot take sadapata, jarda, mentions Bashona.

Statement of Ashraful’s Mother

Ashraful (35) is a physically disabled person of Goal Bathan village, Union: Muladuli, Upazila: Ishwardi, District: Pabna.

I had no problem when I was pregnant, mentioned Ashraful’s mother. The baby suffered fever when he was one month old. The fever continued for three days. He was unable to suck milk from breast. He was spoon fed. He recovered from fever after three days. He was recovering slowly and becoming fresh. I observed at about 4-5 months of his age that he was not moving hands and legs. Then I took the baby to many kabiraj (local healers). There was no improvement of the condition of the baby in this treatment. I did not offer formal medical treatment to the baby. I mainly depended on the treatment from the kabiraj. There was no vaccination facility available in the village at that time. The baby was not given any vaccination.

Ashraful was offered treatment of the Kabiraj for 15 years. I took him to orthopedics hospital at Dhaka when he was aged 18/19 years. The doctors diagnosed that the nerves in two legs had dried up. There is no chance of recovery, the doctors mentioned. Then I stopped his treatment. Ashraful is my son. I am his mother. I always pray for his recovery.

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