This Article is From Sep 08, 2012

Parents of paralysed children want euthanasia

Parents of paralysed children want euthanasia
Udaipur: The parents of two children paralysed by illness have appealed for mercy killing of their children because they are simply too poor to take care of them or to get them treated.

The couple, who live in Udaipur's Sallada village, wrote to the District Collector through their gram sabha out of sheer desperation after their second child, who is four, was paralysed. The older one, eight-year-old Bhumika, too was paralysed two years after birth.

"We wrote to the collector, asking that either the children be helped in some way or they be allowed to die," mother Ramila Teli said. "We can't bear their suffering anymore."

The younger one, Tanish, was struck by paralysis even while treatment was going on for Bhumika. The financial blow of getting both children treated was too much for their father, Ganesh, who had to sell his land for the money.

Now, Ganesh is a dailywager, is struggling not just to keep the family somehow fed - the children, who are bedridden, are living on some milk, and when they are lucky, a couple of biscuits. He also has to run around to look for treatment for his children. Ramila used to work on her farmlands, but is now forced to stay at home since their land was mortgaged to pay for medicinal expenses. Compounding the tragedy, local authorities say that the couple spent precious money to take the children to Ahmedabad and Udaipur for treatment, but there wasn't any success.

Now this request for mercy killing has shaken the local administration, which set up a three-member committee to find ways to help the couple. In the meantime, the entire family's struggle against poverty and illness drags on.