by The Matchbox
10:28pm, 22nd August, 2016
In 1996, Jabin Khan was married to Sujad Khan, an average lower middle class Indian man who worked as a salesman outside a Regional Transport Office (RTO) and payed his taxes on time. Sujad was the ideal Indian citizen with only one problem – polio. Polio, which he developed after being wrongfully injected with a certain medicine as a child, eventually cost him his job. To support his family, Sujad eventually was forced to take up driving a rickshaw around Pune City.
6 months after their marriage, Jabin – who had previously been a perfectly healthy lady – began to develop a multitude of medical complications.
Over the past two decades, Jabin has had to replace both of her hip joints and has gone under the knife several times because of dissolving tissues and innumerable problems in her kidneys. She has also been diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack healthy tissues. Symptoms of the disease include chest pain, hair loss, mouth sores, skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes and much more.
There is no cure for SLE. The only thing a doctor can do for a patient with SLE is reduce their symptoms and keep them alive. This warrants expensive medication and a large number of regular operations.
Sujad has never left her side. After 12 years of marriage, Jabin gave birth to one son – Samir – who is currently 9 years old.
On most days, Samir stays alone at home. His father drives people around the city in his rickshaw, earning an approximate average of 80 rupees for every ride. His mother spends most of her days in the hospital, going through operation after operation.
On his meagre earning as a rickshawala, Sujad can hardly afford both Jabin’s medication and Samir’s education.
When I was a small kid, around 5 years old, my grandparents lived in the same building as Sujad’s family. I grew up playing in his rickshaw. While my family moved out of the building into a much better flat, the Khan family’s condition has only worsened.
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This is the unfortunate reality of the lower middle class India. Living a life riddled with problems and with minimal help from the government, they are left scraping by every day – choosing between basic necessities like medication and education.
The story of the Khan’s is not the only such story in India. There are millions who live like them, struggling for their lives.
While people like Sujad, Jabin and Samir – people who have done no wrong – continue to suffer in our country, we can never claim that we have gained true freedom. True freedom will come to us when every Indian is able to stand for himself or herself and their family – when every person is able to gain basic amenities such as healthcare, education and sanitation without any compromise.
Family’s like Sujad’s need your help. And they need it now.
To donate to Jabin’s cause and provide for the expense of her upcoming operation, please visit her Ketto page: http://ket.to/thewaronlupus
Please share the above link with your family and friends. Your share might just be the key to saving a mother, wife and daughter.
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