Keeri who loved humans

Keeri who loved humans
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Monday, 12 February 2018

Baby and the Bathwater

A few men apparently ran rampant in Chad and Haiti. Disgusting! Especially disgusting if they bought sex with AID money. Nobody is saying that yet.

   However, there is a very noisy press keeping this in the front of our awareness' daily. I am hoping, frantically, that this will not mean whole institutions -- UNICEF, Save The Children, OXFAM... are all penalised, deprived of funds, stigmatised, because a few men couldn't keep it in their trousers.

   I have personally seen the work done by these Aid agencies when I worked for the British Council in four countries in Africa, for fifteen years. Sometimes I worked together with some of them in delivering joint objectives.

   GTZ (German Aid) funded the thousands of Maths Methods books for Primary Schools, which we produced in Malawi. In Zambia, I worked with the UNICEF in promoting the education of girls and the careers of women in Primary Education.

   These are two examples out of many that so many others in the AID business did for the countries in which they worked.

   If the wrong people were recruited, the Head Quarters bears responsibility for this oversight. If misbehaviour was covered up, those who did it must take responsibility.

   But this frenzy of brick-throwing is clearly wrong. Do we close a hospital down if a doctor abuses his position of trust? The whole of OXFAM is not culpable and should not be penalised.

   There has been an agenda - a right-wing agenda-- to reduce funding in aid. This has been going on for a long time. Now the Press - the Right Wing Press -- has joined raucously, day after day. Like a leopard pouncing on a weakened prey.

   The people who will suffer in the end, if Aid is curtailed, are the children, women, men, old people, sick people who need urgent assistance merely to survive. AID organisations have done a great job with resources always just short of need.

   So, please don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Me and the Cold

I sometimes think it is my birth and youth in India that make me feel so cold this year. It is cold with a vengeance this February. I have spend the last three Februaries in England and have got by. My daughter says I moaned loudly all those years too. In even less generous moments she says I am getting older, what did I expect? I know what I expect. A civilised degree of cold, but not this determined, freeze.

   My feet are permanently cold and my toes are various shades of purple. My varicose veins stand up angrily on my ankles and their surrounding skin is also green/ blue. I wear two pairs of woolen socks and today I am wearing a leg-warmer, which my son added to my strategies for surviving. He has also given me a fur hat, which wraps around my ears and buttons under my chin.

   In bed I have two sausage-shaped warm bean bags, two quilts and my Kindle to let me forget the cold. In addition to socks and a jumper.

   I rack up the heat on our central heating to the point when my daughter's face goes pink and she leaves the room. Next year I will have to migrate to warmer places. This won't do. I hate the gloom more than the cold and the wet too more than the cold.

   But today -- I had it! 'In your face,' I told the cold. I rustled up a  long woolen overcoat, woolen socks, jumpers (plural), gloves... and went out for a walk. I'm darned if I'm going to let the weather dictate my lifestyle. I felt I had won something, at the end.

   And then a friend from Kazakhstan phoned. It is minus 13 degrees there, he said. He is Indian, a lot younger than my nearly 83  -- he sounded great. He got me thinking. There are many people in this country who are old and manage to negotiate this weather without fussing. So what is wrong with me? From today on, I am getting out there, snow, sleet or frost. Bring it on!