Saturday, March 31, 2018


I got married in good old arranged marriage fashion. One of the tools I used in the whole meet-and-greet process was to tell the prospective bride that I could possibly end up working in a small village in Bihar. Well, I now realise you have to watch out what you wish for, since many years down the line, here we are!! Our caboodle has relocated to a small hospital in Madhepura town, North Bihar after bidding a tearful farewell to our dear friends in Bilga and Ludhiana. The sorrow of the parting still hangs heavy on our hearts although it is a sweet sorrow, since we moved in response to the pull on our heartstrings. And having been here for some time now, it is clear to us that this is where we are meant to be for this season of our lives.

Madhepura is a dusty little town in the basin of the river Koshi. This is its biggest claim to fame as the river floods at regular intervals wreaking destruction throughout the area. Its other claim to fame is being the bastion of the Yadav political dynasties - Lalloo and Pappu Yadav on the one side and Sharad Yadav on the other. Demographically and economically it is in the poorest cluster of districts along with neighbouring Saharsa, Araria and Purnea (1). The literacy rate is 53.7% and the sex ratio is an appalling 914 females for every 1000 males (2). There are a number of Dalit and Mahadalit communities surrounding the hospital with the Moosahars (lit. rat-eaters) being the group among which we do the maximum work. The small hospital where we work is on the outskirts of the town and has many challenges. As many of our patients cannot afford to go to larger cities like Purnea, Patna or Siliguri for treatment, we often are faced with the situation of taking care of rather sick patients without too many facilities. However, we often find that necessity is the mother of invention and things go better than we expect which is very encouraging.

I used to blog avidly many years ago and hope I will be able to get back to some regularity. The main reason I am restarting this blog is to tell some of the stories of our patients. These stories tell the real plight of the people we work with and I hope they will reach the parts of India that I am used to - where things are very different and some of the situations we come across would be unthinkable. Do let me know what you think in the comments or by email. So hope I can keep writing and you all will enjoy reading! God bless!!

(A picture from the blog of a friend of mine which shows the front of the hospital... and a horse, something that is not as unheard of as we would think!!