Today, I had a very unusual patient. ZA had come about a week back with his wife, KZ who had an abortion and we had to do a curettage of the uterus. That was when ZA asked me whether I was from Vellore. He told me about his 8 year old daughter, BZ who was specially abled after she suffered from a delay in normally reaching developmental milestones.
This was amazing. In a society who gave quite a lot of prominence to male children and treated its female children with lesser care, ZA and his wife, KZ stood out. It was quite encouraging.
They had invested quite a lot in the well being of his 8 year old daughter so much so that KZ underwent a manual termination of pregnancy (MTP) couple of years back, so that they could give extra care for her.
It was quite a long time since I was seeing a specially abled child in outpatient. The child was quite smart. As seen with many of the special children, BZ was also quite interested in music and stories . . . It was quite unlike quite a majority of parents who have girl babies with a probability of not being 'normal'.
It was wonderful that I could get through to one of my old friends at CMC, Vellore who readily agreed to review BZ. I know that there may not be much happening, but it is encouraging to know that attitudes are slowly changing for the better. I wish this change would be infectious and a time will come when the girl child is cherished and valued more in Indian homes . . .
I had already planned many things in administration today, and therefore did not find much time to talk with the family. However, the major finding I had about the family was that the mother was a graduate. . . and the father a teacher. . . There must be other factors too . . . I’m going to probe into them some time, but if it is female education which will make a difference, then we have miles to go . . .