What does one do when one is suffering from an ailment that one is clueless about? One rushes to the best doctor one can find. But what does a poor, ignorant, illiterate person do when faced with a similar problem? He/she rushes to the nearest so called ‘doctor’ a.k.a quack.

While most of the poor in our country can never make it to a doctor, those who do are seldom administered the correct treatment. Many a times, these people, blighted by ignorance, rush to the nearest person who claims he can cure ailments. Blame it on their ignorance or the desire to save the money that they would have to shell out if they went to a good doctor. These weaker sections of the society entrust their health into the hands of the barely qualified, themselves ignorant self proclaimed doctors.

These quacks and their shops can be found in any of the areas that are occupied by the less fortunate. Most of these quacks are smooth talkers who easily convince the underprivileged that they are the only ones who can cure them. The people who can barely read and write and are completely ignorant about the sinister motives of the quacks scarcely question them. They simply believe the diagnosis and pop pills which are just not meant to cure their particular diseases. At times, these people administer fake medicines which, instead of benefiting them, harm them further. And at times the situation gets worse and these people are cajoled into undergoing unnecessary operations. Often, in these operations, their vital organs like kidneys are removed and sold off in the black market for a profit. It is this profit which further motivates the quacks to trick as many people as possible. It seems the poor are simply guinea pigs, here on planet earth to facilitate the evil plans of these demons in disguise.

Their poverty, illiteracy, vulnerability and ignorance of the law and order machinery makes the impoverished a perfect target for these quacks. These quacks are not guided by their conscience; it is simply the smell of money which lures them. Their insatiable greed makes them play with countless lives and part with their conscience. The problem is deep seated. Most of the time it is not just a single man committing these atrocities but a whole nexus which is minting money by shredding their scapegoats to pieces.

In some extreme cases, many poor women who could have normally delivered their babies are forced to undergo caesarian operations. As a treatment of diahorreia, they are given a mere paracetamol, for stomach aches they are told to undergo operations where their kidneys are parted from them without their consent and knowledge. At times, they are given expired medicines. All this and much more just adds to their suffering and pain instead of doing them any good. They are perfect patients for malpractice of the medical profession. They even provide the security that if something goes wrong they would only sit and weep haplessly cursing their fate, as they are devoid of any power which would make them heard.

In a world where a mortal can go to any extent to make his pockets jingle with the sound of money, these poor people are no more then mute preys who should be exploited to the maximum extent possible. A concentrated effort to bring in more qualified doctors to rural areas and increased education and general awareness should help combat the problem of the quacks!

Apurva Joshi


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