Monday, December 16, 2013

My prayers for your happiness and healthy life, Ericana and Eludi!

Ericana and Eludi with their mother
Life is full of struggles, challenges and pain for all us. But unfortunately for some people, the struggle is greater. In Tanzania, for two male babies - Ericana and Eludi, the struggle had began with their birth. They were born as pygopagus twins which means that they are conjoined at the buttocks. Since their birth, their mother has been struggling to get them separated and lead a healthy life. The pain suffered by the twins and their mother is unspeakable and unimaginable.

But thankfully, the babies can now be said to be in safe hands. The mother had learnt about Apollo healthcare, one of the most efficient and trust names in modern healthcare today, and came to the Apollo Hospital in Chennai with her two beautiful babies and with her trust and hope.

The Apollo Hospital, on its part, is also doing its best. This case is one of the most challenging cases that not only Apollo but that the world has seen. Conjoined twins is a rare condition and most of the babies with this condition are either still-born or die soon after birth. This specific condition of conjoining at the buttocks known as pygopagus is even more rare. It is also generally found more in females. Till now, only 4 male pygopagus twins have been reported. So this case is definitely one of the rarest and the most difficult. But Apollo is doing all that it can to ensure a normal and healthy life for the babies. For this case, Apollo has appointed a team of 20 doctors from the specialties of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, paediatric surgery and pediatric urology. They have also sought the guidance of Dr. Edward Kiely – Paediatric Surgeon and Dr. Richard Howard – Anaesthesiologist both from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London for the safe separation. Apollo has been taking care of the babies for 5 months now and on 16th, it will conduct the most important stage i.e. the separation surgery.

But Apollo has not just been giving them medical care, it has also given the babies and their mother an emotional support. The nurses have developed a bond with the babies. The nurses have nicknamed the babies as 'Ammukutty’ and ‘Chellakutty’. In turn, the babies have also bonded with the nurses. They and their mother have also picked up a few tamil words. But this is not new about Apollo. Apollo has not just been one of the world's most efficient health-care provider, it is actually a "care-taker" and of not just the patients but of the society. Apollo has many social initiatives like Disha, SACHi, SAHI, CURE and other initiatives to care for everyone, irrespective of their economic and social profile. Infact, the babies' mother had learnt about Apollo because of its presence through the Save a child's heart initiative of SACHi in Tanzania.  

So the babies are in efficient and caring hands. My wishes with Apollo. I wish them all success. I also pray that the pain being suffered by the two babies should end and they lead a happy and healthy life. My wishes also for the mother. May God bless all of them. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Statement by Mission Bhartiyam condemning the the SC verdict criminalizing gay sex

On 11th December 2013, the Supreme Court of India has dismissed the Delhi High Court Ruling of 2009 to uphold IPC section 377 that prohibits “carnal acts against the order of nature”. Doing so, it criminalises the sexual acts of LGBTI community. 

The Delhi High Court in its ruling had held that the provision violated the sexual minorities’ fundamental rights to life, liberty, equality, and discriminating between people on grounds of sex. But the Supreme Court has overturned the verdict arguing that it is not against the constitutional norms. The SC has upheld the allegations of the social and religious organisations that consider non-heteronormativity to be against the "cultural and religious values of the country". 

We condemn the SC verdict. We feel that the verdict is not "non-liberal", conservative or "non-progressive" but is against the fact of nature and is historically baseless. Non-heteronormativity is not unnatural, it is not a choice or a "lifestyle". It is a is a way a person is. Non-heteronormativity has been observed in several animal and bird species as well. 

Homosexuality and other forms of non-heteronormativity are not against our culture.. they were a part of our culture and for this, there is enough historical evidence. The ban on non-heteronormative forms of sexuality has its origin in the colonial era. But we think that even if we may think it is, it is against our culture just like the ban on sati, child marriage, devdasi tradition and other social evils. 

It has been argued that non-heteronormativity is against the religious norms. Some religions like Islam and Christianity have prohibited it but there was a certain context to it. In Islam, all the obligations were made in a certain socio-political context which needs to be studied. Other religions like Hinduism cannot be said to be against non-heteronormativity and there is enough evidence in the scriptures to prove it. We also feel that even if the religions do not permit it, it does not mean that it is wrong. We must remember that religions also promote several other forms of discrimination and inequality. 

We also think that even if a certain religion does not permit non-heteronormativity, it should be concern only for the people who ascribe to that religion. The individual following that religion should decide if he/she wants to leave his/her religion or suppress his/her sexuality. Their religious values and opinions should not be imposed on others. 
We state that people with non-heteronormative sexuality are not "abnormal", "diseased" and deviants.. what is abnormal, unnatural and a "mental disorder" is this homophobia. As we know, the nature loves and celebrates diversity. The non-heteronormative sexualities represents these diverse forms of sexuality. 

This verdict is a verdict against the nature, against knowledge and against humanity.