DARKNESS AT NOON - Faces of Real India
Jaisalmer: Sixteen-year-old M. Kalpesh suffers from a disorder which has led to paralysis of his limbs. His mother Rukmani Bai does not have the money to get him treated. Rukmani Bai lost her husband Mangilal, the sole breadearner of the family, in 1999. Mangilal worked in a factory on daily wages. After his death she has been literally left on the streets. She says her son has been suffering from the disorder since he was a child.
For the last five years, she has tried to get her son some medical attention, but her poor financial condition has always come in the way. The mother and son live in a shack and come out on the streets every day to beg. “No doctor at the government hospitals in Jodhpur, Jaipur and Gujarat is kind enough to treat my son,” says Rukmani Bai. She gives her son a liquid diet because he is not able to consume anything else and survives on begging.