Dr Abdul Kalam'stouching generosity saves a human life
By Debasis Tripathi
Great men have a noble and benevolent soul. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is not only a celebrated scientist and national thinker, but also a harbinger of humanism and values, above all. This man who searched for ?ignited minds? all over the world is the kindest of the kind that even a call from a village girl touches his heart and makes him share her plight.
Meet the family of Diptilata Bai (15) of Olaver village under Kendrapara district, who get a ray of hope from the Rashtrapati Bhawan, at the eleventh hour. Dipit'sfather Dibesh Bai was a daily wage-earner, working in Mumbai. Everything was okay till Dipti and her family members got to know that Dibesh had AIDS, the killer disease. Not only Dibesh, the disease had already been passed on to his wife. Both Dibesh and his wife died in 2002, leaving behind their three children.
After the death of her parents, Dipti and her siblings had no way out other than begging in the villages. Their family life was already devastated. Her two brothers were also affected by AIDS. Due to the social stigma attached to AIDS, people shunned them and refused to give them alms and shelter. At last Dipti, as a last resort, wrote a letter to Dr Kalam on whom she had irrevocable faith. The letter was written in Oriya language, describing her sorry plight. Unbelievable but true, her letter was answered by the Hon?ble President and Diptilata received a sum of Rs 20,000 from Raisina Hills.
?In my school, I listened about our President Dr Kalam. In the newspapers I have also read about him, how he is affectionate towards kids. At last losing every hope, I thought of writing to him. When I wrote to him for the treatment of my siblings, many people laughed at me. Even I was not sure whether my letter would get a reply or not. But he answered. We are grateful to him?, said Diptilata to Organiser. Shri Hemanta Sharma, the district magistrate, confirms about this grant from the Rashtrapti Bhawan. ?After the grant of Hon?ble Rashtrapatiji, the State government has also sanctioned a sum of Rs 10,000 which is about to be paid to the family?, adds the DM.
Another Sarabjeet cries for justice in Orissa
While the death sentence, given to Sarabjeet Singh, in Pakistan has become the talk of the town, an innocent victim has been undergoing life imprisonment in Orissa due to wrong identification.
Unbelievable but true, he is a tribal boy, Sithinga Maghi (21), languishing in a prison cell of Berhampur circle Jail in Orissa. According to sources, Sithinga is an inhabitant of village Mandrabaju under Gajpati district of Orissa. On December 30, 1999, an unruly and uproarious incident took place in the village. A huge protest was organised against the establishment of a private industry in that village. The villagers alleged that the industry would devastate their homestead and even the surrounding forest. In course of time, the local administration remained mum on the grievances of these innocent tribal people, which led to the violence. In order to protect their habitat, the mob attacked the local police station. Nine people died in the police firing, which rocked the entire State.
During the investigations, one Bithili Majhi was charged and found guilty and was to be arrested. But the administration committed a great blunder. Instead of arresting the accused, one innocent boy, Sithinga, was wrongly nabbed as the accused, and he was labeled as Bithili Majhi, the main accused. There was nobody to speak on behalf of this poor tribal boy. His repeated appeals were in vain. ?Nobody listened to him. Even his school certificate and voter identity card were not taken into consideration during the trial?, said Shri Dandapani Mohanty, a social worker of the locality.
On June 26, 2005 Sithinga along with the other four co-accused was sentenced to life imprisonment by the local fast-track court. According to one advocate engaged in this case, there is no such name as Sithinga in the police chargesheet nor in the court verdict, but in spite of that, Sithinga has been prosecuted and convicted in place of the real accused Bathili Majhi.
?We do not know the whereabouts of the real accused Bathili Majhi, but one innocent tribal boy has got the punishment for an offence which he has not committed at all,? says Shri Dandapani Mohanty, the convener of Anti-Naxal Front, while expressing his grief.
As the victim is a poor boy, he cannot defend himself properly nor can he go to the higher court. Hence, voluntary organisations should come forward to rescue him, says Shri Mohanty.