What are we doing?

Hi everyone,
I hope you all are doing well. I went to a talk yesterday on the condition of tribals in a district in Chhattisgarh and how they are being exploited by the State police forces and Naxalites, and was quite disturbed about a lot of things. Is it me or do you also think that we are really going backwards in terms of being civilized?
If you are interested, watch these videos by an activist from Chhattisgarh who gave the talk yesterday. And its my humble request – please spend a few minutes and think, what are we doing with our lives? Aren’t we just exploiting the poor people who have no rights and no education?

And then I came home and was reading about all this. From there, I went on to read about child marriage and was thoroughly depressed on the condition of the world we live in. Imagine a 13 year old being married and bleeding to death because of sexual inter-course – the idea is horrifying. And the sad truth is that its not just an idea, it happens in the so called civilized society we live in. You can read the article here.

I was so depressed after all this that I was reminded of the song – Jinhe naaz hai Hind par vo kahan hai..?? Just replace hind with the world.. and I think Guru Dutt committed suicide after that movie (Pyaasa) was filmed.

And then I was thinking what am I doing with my life – I work in a research lab that hopes to find a drug to cure a specific type of cancer – this may or may not happen – if it doesn’t, my PhD thesis may help move this field forward in 10 years and will be another drop in the ocean; and if it does, it may help some people in another 10 years, once it is tested in animal models and clinical trials and approved. But the bottom line is – I don’t care as much about finding this drug.

Anyway, so here I was thoroughly depressed and giving up all hope. And then I sat down to think – who am I helping by this? I claim to want to do something for society, to bring about a change – where is all that? And if I am myself so depressed, how can I help somebody? I should be providing hope and inspiration to people who go through all this rather than sucking it out of their and my life.

And so I decided, the first step in the direction I want to walk in is to make myself emotionally and mentally strong – so that I can maintain my equilibrium when I work with these people and face the huge challenges that I eventually will. Secondly, I need to pick my battle. I can’t be helping the tribals, and work against child marriages, and help in the education of under-privileged sections of society, and so on. I have to choose what I want to do and carry that out with utmost sincerity and conviction so that I can really bring about some change, however small it maybe.

And I really hope I can walk the talk!

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