Posts Tagged Children

“ઘર એટલે” — “Home is…” (poem dedicated to homeless children)


આ મહિના ની બેઠક નો વિષય છે “ઘર એટલે”.  કાનો માત્ર વગરના બે અક્ષરના ઘર શબ્દ માં ઘણું સમાયેલું છે.  તેમાં લાગણી, પ્રેમ, સલામતી અને સંતોષ ભર્યા હોય છે.  જો ઘરની ભીત બોલે તો તે ભાન્દુડા ની લડાઈ માં કોણ વધારે નટખટ હતું તે સાક્ષી પુરાવે।  ઘરની ભીંતો મમ્મી પપ્પા ને પાટા મારી ને વચ્ચે કરેલી સુવા માટેની જગ્યા ની જુબાની આપે, દાદીના હેત નો વરસાદ વરસાવે ને ઘરે પધારેલા મિત્રો અને મહેમાનોથી દિવાલોને શણગારી શકે.  

પણ જયારે આપણા માટે, આ વિશાળ દુનિયા માં, ઘર એક એવો ખૂણો છે કે ત્યાં મળે છે લાગણી, પ્રેમ, સબંધ અને સંસ્કાર, ત્યાં મળે છે સંવેદના, મિત્રોનો કોલાહલ, અવનવું ભણતર અને ગણતર, ત્યારે આપણે આજે યાદ કરીએ એ બાળકોને કે જેમને આ કશુજ હાસિલ થતું નથી.  એ બાળકોને કે જેમને ઘર જેવી કોઈ વાસ્તવિકતાનો અનુભવ જ નથી.  ક્યારેક એ બાળકો શેરીએ શેરીએ ભટકે છે અને ક્યારેક ફોસ્ટર કેર માં અટવાયેલા છે.  અને એ બાળકો જેમના ભાગ્યમાં ઘર છે તો તે માત્ર દીવાલો છે, નથી ઘર માફક કોઈ સુવિધા કે સગવડ।   

અનાથ બાળક શેરી એ શેરી એ ભટકે
તડકો છાયો સમાન, આભ એનું ઘર છે

દિવાલોની હુંફ તેને ક્યારેય મળી નથી
માં બાપ થી અલગ, ભટકે તે દર દર છે

દીવડામાં શોભતી હવેલી ના જગમગાટમાં
કોને અટુલા અનાથ બાળક ની દરકાર છે  

ગરીબડું બાળક કચરામાં બટકું રોટલી શોધે
વહાલે પીરસેલી રસોઈની એને ક્યાં ખબર છે

શીખવાનો શોખ ને ચોપડી ના પાના ઉથલાવે
મજુર માની દીકરીને ક્યાં હાસિલ ભણતર છે

મખમલની રજાઈ તળે ઊંઘતા, તમે કહેશો
આ તો વળી અમથી વાત નું વતેસર છે

ઘર ના મીઠા સ્મરણોને સંભારીએ, ત્યારે શું
ભૂલી જઈશું જે આપણી વચ્ચે બેઘર છે?

 

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“I am thinking of me” – A poem dedicated to the parents of slain children at Sandy Hook, CT


I want to hold your little hand, my love — Poem

This poem is dedicated to the parents who lost their precious children in gun violence at SHES, Newtown, CT.  My heart goes out to them, waking up from a sleepless night, to the nightmare that is real.  The question to consider is – do we want to make our homes safer, even as our children are put in harm’s way in schools, colleges, theaters, malls or do we want to restrict access to guns.  Poem below……………

Didn’t hug you close, said my good bye in a hurry
I was annoyed that you were sloppy and slow
I want one chance to say I am really really sorry

Just once I want to smell your smell
I want to hold your little hand, my love
So many stories I still have to tell

Cook your favorite meal
Snuggle with you
Tickle you, my pickle

I am your mother, I am not done
Only I can keep you safe
You listen, you can’t be gone

I will trade all things I treasure
For one chance, to hold you
Once to gaze in your eyes, my dear

I want to tell you, it will be all right
Kiss away your boos and sorrows
Keep you safe, with all my might

Who am I without you, what will I do
I should think of you, my child
But I’m thinking of me, I need you

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Poem – Mother’s million things for children


Once you were young and beautiful
Perhaps you turned eyes, you were so cool
Perhaps you had dreams and desires
To learn, travel, explore new shores

English: mothers day photo, Pakistani mother a...

English: mothers day photo, Pakistani mother and her child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Instead, bound by social norms
You bore daughters and sons
Sometimes we did not care, did not understand
Sometimes we rebelled and sassed

But you never failed to rise
To tend to each of our cries
To a life not of your choosing, but your calling
You gave all, abundantly, loving and smiling

Keeping warm our food each day
When we came from school, August to May
How did you do it? Find love in your heart
Sometimes when life was far from perfect

You found a way to look past life’s sorrow
Your eyes on our dreams, as you sat by the window
At times you sat with us, yawning and sleepy eyed
Well past midnight, as we sat and studied

You never strayed from our bedside, when we got ill
Afraid to move, lest it awaken us, you sat still
Holding our little fingers, as we put entire trust in your palm
You took us for little treats, your presence soothing like a balm

Cooked, scrubbed, swept, even as you did your million chores,
As we slept late into the morn, dreams dancing on our eyelashes.
Now you are old and feeble and perhaps have forgotten your sacrifices
A life devoted solely to your children, no other desires or vices

A million things you did for each of us, amidst your busy day
Have we too forgotten? A debt of deep gratitude, we can’t ever repay?

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Desiree LaBeaud & Seema Handu discussed Sustainable Global Health Initiatives for Children in the Developing World at bio2devicegroup.org on February 7, 2012.


Seema Handu, PhD, Managing Director of CGHI (Children’s Global Health Initiative, http://www.cghi.info/) shared the organization’s mission to address health issues identified by the UN with respect to children and maternal health.  Every year, 10.6 million children under the age of 5 die and many of these deaths could be prevented with better healthcare and nutrition.  CGHI only goes to a country when invited and collaborates with local in-country clinics to devise sustainable programs in clinical services, translational research, and capacity funding for infrastructure, medical supplies, and medicines.

Dr. Desiree LaBeaud is assistant scientist at CHORI (Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, http://www.chori.org/) and a clinician at the Children’s Hospital in the Pediatric Infectious Diseases.  LaBeaud leads efforts in research, containment, and cure of arboviral infections and their long-term health consequences.  Arboviral infections are caused from arthropod or mosquito-borne viruses.  While previously these outbreaks were more contained to smaller geographical areas, they now spread easily and can lead quickly to major worldwide epidemics due to such influences of modern life, like urbanization, land reclamation, deforestation, military activities, war, natural calamities, climate change, and increased mobility.  Many of these infectious diseases are highly debilitating, often with long lasting effects.  For instance, Chikungunya causes fever and debilitating arthritis that can last for months and sometimes years.  Dengue is the #1 mosquito borne viral infection in the world and causes an illness of sudden onset with headaches, fever, sever joint and muscle pain and recovery takes several weeks.  Dr. LaBeaud specifically investigates Rift Valley fever virus in Kenya, with outbreaks causing debilitating diseases like hemorrhagic fever, retinitis, and encephalitis.  Many of these diseases are also accompanied by long lasting cognitive impairment, confusion, somatic problems, extreme fatigue, concentration problems, memory loss, and psychosis.

Currently there exist no vaccines for most of these mosquito borne diseases (with the exception of yellow fever), and there aren’t many treatment options until the virus runs its course.  But the sad part is that there aren’t many rapid, low cost diagnostic tools and there is often misclassification, while the virus continues to spread, when there is an epidemic.   Diagnostic tests are needed that are rapid, sensitive, specific, easy to use, portable, random access, cost effective, adaptable, multiplexed and can test many things, and are broad based so can test for etiologies that one may not necessarily be looking for.   Routinely used Elisa assays do not get real time info and have limited sensitivity and lack specificity.  DNA based panviral microarray or virochips are good for broad based diagnosis but are very expensive and analysis is labor intensive. Loopmediated iso-thermal amplification or LAMP is single tube assay for nucleic acid detection and is simple, cheap, and fast but is not broad based and one should be certain what one is looking for.  Wicking assays are point of care, rapid, can be easily adapted, are filed deployable, but are difficult to multiplex and not broad based.  Microfluidic devices are Point of Care tests that are rapid, flexible, portable, can have many different channels and very likely are the wave of the future.  In the end, better diagnosis will save children, said LaBeaud.  Besides, no longer can these diseases of the developing world be ignored, as they easily travel and there is always a fear of major worldwide outbreaks that can infect people and animals globally.

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