Tuesday, April 5, 2011

On Dung

Why should a third of the patients at a rural healthcare clinic be suffering from asthma, I wondered. There were no polluting industries in the vicinity of the village. The air was so fresh, it should have been curing respiratory diseases: how then was it causing it?


I had the answer when I entered the first hut. It was so full of arid smoke that my eyes welled up with tears, and I had to run out of the room.

Too poor to afford fuel, the people burn cowdung cakes in their stoves. Poverty was the Cause, not the Air.

_____
drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Doesn't the scene look idyllic?


From last year: D for Daddy's Darling Daughter

22 comments:

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi, I just found you through the A-Z Challenge, and I really enjoy your photos and your blog. I am your newest follower.

Nice to meet you, and have a wonderful day.

Kathy M.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is sad and disgusting. And only you would make a wonderful drabble out of dung!

Dafeenah said...

I remember the first time I saw people making those piles. I was so curious as to what they did with them, but I was afraid to ask. I have also seen some houses with them stuck on the walls like mortar or something. It was definitely something I had never seen before.

Dafeenah

Marjorie said...

That hurts to even think about. You sure know how to shed light on subject that those of us on the other side of the world would never think to be a problem.

The Yard Bard said...

We used to build heating (NOT cooking) fires that way when camping, but we were outside and had the luxury of burning wood for cooking food.

Deb and Barbara said...

And yet the photos of it are so beautiful. Sadness and beauty so inexorably mixed...
B

Stephanie V said...

I've just been introduced to the drabble through this challenge. Yours is not only educational but also empathetic.

LTM said...

oh, no! Argh. So you are doing the challenge. I like it~ :o) <3

Siv Maria said...

Makes on think about how small the world has gotten, but how large it really is still afterall. Spaces between poverty and wealth seem to grow only larger.

Tiger85 said...

I like the picture and the drabble is sad. =)

http://tigeronmybookshelf.blogspot.com/

Margot Kinberg said...

Natasha - I so admire you for calling attention to these urgent needs for things that most of just assume and take for granted. How very terrible, sad and unjust....

Catherine Denton said...

Oh wow...that's sad. :(
My Blog

Ellie said...

An excellent drabble, though a sad topic.

Nice to meet you!

Ellie Garratt

Chuck said...

I wonder if they get used to the smell after a time? Probably not. Sad to hear.

The Words Crafter said...

I've heard of this. Wow. And how you're able to weave such stories is beyond me, well done!

Alison Miller said...

I love writing drabbles - I actually put one in one of my books and talked about what a drabble is - I'm such a nerd. :)

New follower from A-Z - nice to meet you!

B's Mom said...

I love your take on this challenge.

sue said...

I came across the same thing in Nepal many years ago, eye problems were a huge problem from the smoke as well. Many of the people had no wood or other fuel and it was better than raw food; and free.

Stephen Tremp said...

Couldn't they cook their food outside the hut? At least in good weather? Another good drabble that captures how people live that are quite different from ours.

Meera said...

All that is traditional is not necessarily good...

Rayna Natasha Iyer said...

@ Kathy - thank you for dropping, by. Will pop over for a quick coffee soon.

@ Alex - now that is a compliment if I ever saw one ;-)
And it is really sad, isn't it? If nothing else, just a couple of hundred dollars will set up a biomass plant, and a lot more than just that is spend in corruption every day

@ Dafeenah - You must have wondered!!!!
Growing up, I used to wonder why they stuck those dung cakes on their walls. Then I got immune to the sight. And now, I am seeing the reality.

@ Marjorie - what really hurts is that so much money is allocated for "development", but barely 10% actually trickles down to the population.

@ The Yard Bard - given a choice, I am sure nobody would want to use it for cooking. But for heating, ti could be fun!

@ Barbara - the photographs are beautiful, aren't they? I was struck by the beauty of the place, and yet everyone is so poor.

@ Stephanie - thank you. And Thank you too for stopping by

@ Leigh- I am only doing it as long as I can. They day it gets too much, I am quitting

@ Siv Maria - so true. People have more in common with others half way round the world than with their neighbours.

@ Tiger85 - thank you, and thank you too for dropping by

@ Margot - it is terribly sad, isn't it? And I feel priveledged that I am in a position, when I can at least shed a little bit of light on the small things that are still wrong.

@ Catherine - thanks for dropping by.

@ Ellie - thank you for dropping by, and it is really sad, isn't it?

@ Chuck - I am sure they don't even notice it any longer.

@ The Words Crafter - thank you. And thank you too for dropping by.

@ Alison - I really should check your work out. I am a drabble addict

@ B's Mom - thank you, and thank you for dropping by.

@ Sue - totally. Never thought of it affecting the eyes, but yes, it is so arid, it would.

@ Stephen - logically, yes. But when you probe, you will probably be given some story about how demons will get into your food if cooked outdoors, or something- anything to keep women indoors and out of sight of the menfolk.

@ Meera - not at all.

Tina said...

Poop all neatly lined up in rows is still poop. When I see situations like this, I get so riled up I just want to rally the world to come to their rescue. Maybe that's why we've chosen the sponsor a child way of helping. You can make a big impact on someone's life even though you can't fix this messed up world.
Tina @ Life is Good

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