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My Martyr

My Martyr, who lived with AIDS
It was raining when I left Kathmandu this morning for Butwal a small town in western Nepal. Today is the thirteenth day of the general strike. I was carrying ARVs for some of my friends in Butwal. Streets of Butwal was in flames. The only means of transportation to take me to Butwal, 20 kms away from the airport were bicycle and tricycles (Rickshaw).
As I stepped outside the airport there was a dead silence. Something chilled my heart. I felt as if something is going to go wrong. I took a Rickshaw. After a few bargaining with the Rickshaw puller, he was ready to take me to Butwal for three hundred rupees. Stone and tree in many places blocked roads and tyres were burning in some places.
It took me one and half hour to reach our care home. As I had felt, a person was dying in the center. He was breathing heavily. One of his relatives was sitting next to him. I talked with her and she said that she had no hopes. She said, "we are waiting for his death".


I talked with our staff and they told me that there are no flights till Thursday as the pilot association is also going on a strike tomorrow. They had been trying to find a seat in flights for last 2 weeks but due to the strike they couldn't succeed.

Though there was a seat in the chartered flights they were very expensive. And since all the banks were closed, they didn't had enough money to pay even for the expensive tickets so they decided to wait till Thursday.
I tried to call an ambulance but all the ambulances were busy carrying the injured protestors. Over hundred thousand people were on the streets even in this small town. Some also suggested that it is useless to call an ambulance because there is no place to take him.


Private medical college in a nearby town of Bhairawa had already referred him to Kathmandu saying that they didn't have an expertise and government hospital had refused to treat him saying they didn't had the national guidelines on treating patients with HIV/AIDS.


Actually all of that are excuses. Who wants to treat a poor patient with an incurable disease a very common perception outside the main cities?
I called our office in Kathmandu to seek expert advice but before we could take any further actions he died. I have never felt this kind of helplessness in my entire life.

If we had taken him to Kathmandu, we could have saved him. Thousands of Nepalese are fighting for restoration of democracy - many of them have died.. In a nearby town a women who was watching the demonstration from her window died after a bullet fired by the police hit her on the chest and she is now declared as a Martyr for democracy.
Sadly the one who died in our center today will not be remembered as a Martyr though he died as a result of the ongoing movement because he lived with AIDS.
Shibu Giri
Nava Kiran Plus
Butwal, Western Nepal

Copied from Nepal aidstalk
Posted by Raj Khadka,

Sent via Email April 20, 2006 from Western Nepal.

 
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