Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Outrageous Story/Stories of Poverty and Ignorance

I read in today's Paper, with feelings ranging from relief to sadness and anger, that the 20 month old child whose tongue and ears were bitten/eaten by Rats in a shack between Mahaica and Maichony died in hospital. Her two siblings aged 5yrs and 6yrs have been subsequently been taken away by Social Services but alarmingly the 'mother'* is pregnant again.  At the risk of sounding like an ignorant, self-righteous Right-Winger, if this isn't an argument for involuntary sterilization I don't know what is!
Adding to that there is a woman put to occupy an empty house in Port Mourant who is in her mid-forties-- pregnant with her 11th child-- the first two 'minded' by relatives in another part of Berbice, the next two -encouraged to enter the neighbours' houses to steal-- taken out of school to 'mind' the younger siblings-- daughter had baby at fifteen, stayed with various men for varying times- baby now back at Shack with the rest of the brood while daughter 'tek another man' less than a month ago(fifth known man so far), brother in remedial home in Essequibo for stealing-- 13yr old taken out of school to 'mind' other siblings. I had actually called Social Services in an effort to prevent the 15yr old contracting any venereal diseases and getting pregnant but the ones in Georgetown were all going to meetings on how to deal with the Problem and that was how I discovered three years ago that there were only two Social Workers for the entire county of Berbice! The one dealing with Corentyne was on leave and the St Francis Xavier Centre-- recipient of so much funding that it could deliver Christmas Hampers couldn't be arsed!  When Social Services finally made it there it was merely to threaten the woman that she would be jailed if she didn't send the kids to school-- no follow-up or practical help with putting the children into remedial classes. The worse thing is... the woman will not give up her children-- a couple came from Scotland looking for a baby to adopt and the woman was not parting with any of her children!

So - this particular ignorance is alive and kicking elsewhere:
where it seems to be the ignorant father abusing their wives and daughters - and having a hair-raising number like 14 children.
The thing is -- coming from a similar background- my illiterate grandmother made 12 children and my mother was the second-to-last child I just have admiration that she worked out that she wanted her children-- girls as well - to be educated and my mother said she and her sister would pretend to do homework while playing tic-tac-toe with my tired grandmother falling asleep at the table. Who am I to advocate for enforced sterilization?
Heard on the BBC of Uzbekistan doesn't even bother to discuss with mother/parents-- just 'tie off' the tubes after the 1st and sometimes 2nd child. Apparently 80% percent of women are delivered by C-section where the enforced sterilization is carried out at the same time- yikes- at 28million people IS this the way to go?

*  The maternal grandmother of the children, in an interview described her son-in-law as an alcoholic and her daughter as mentally-deficient.

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