Monday, the 1st of May 2017, a public holiday set aside to commemorate workers day, ought to be a day of rest for me but as an employee with little or no time to do her PP (the acronym for what is commonly known as Private Practice), I had no choice but to fix my appointment with a Surveyor on that day.
The Surveyor was hired to survey a Land which survey I needed to use to perfect the transaction over the land hence, the necessity of my presence on site.
Thus, I set out to the site at Badagry, boarded a bus and sat close to the window, thankful for the free flow of traffic which made my journey smooth. A trip like this on a normal working day would have made life unbearable due to constant mad traffic on that route.
As the bus I boarded from Orile arrived at Okoko bus-stop, I looked out of the window and my eyes beheld a sight, the memory of which would continue to linger in my mind for a long time to come.
The sight was that of a blind female beggar standing beside her son, a toddler who was defecating into a polythene bag right on the dividing embankment of the dual express roads at Okoko, a spot commonly used by beggars to beg for alms.
When the toddler finished defecating, she used her right hand to grope the ground for the polythene bag so as to collect and subsequently dispose of the faeces. After disposing of same, she tore open the satchet water in her hand, groped her sons body to locate his anus and washed same. After washing his buttocks with the sachet water, she drank some of the water and then gave her son to drink.
While I watched this scenario, I felt a rush of disgust and, pity for the blind beggar and her son, all at once. Still I couldnt help but imagine what they must be going through just to survive.
Life indeed must be hard for them.
To think that the blind beggar would sit on the ground, very close to a refuse dump, the same area where her son just finished defecating, with her fellow beggars, begging for alms, a common sight at that part of Okoko bus-stop.
The health hazards posed by this are unimaginable. What I witnessed made me stop to think about my life and count my blessings. It also made me realise that suffering and poverty abound in this country, amidst plenty.
A depressing image of irony now a common sight in our society.
As the bus proceeded after some passengers had alighted at that bus-stop, I kept on thinking about what I had just encountered and couldnt help but imagine how hard life must be for her, her child and others like her.
It was a pathetic sight. I began to wonder to myself ..
‘we can do better as a nation, and as humans’.
Each of us can contribute in our own little way to help the needy. Even if it means giving a plate of food to someone in need. It would go a long way to alleviate his or her suffering even though temporarily.
This would engender hope amongst the poor, and give them a reason to live for another day.
As I continued my journey, I thought to myself How I wish I could reach out to this beggar. Then I made a promise to do more in helping the needy. I just have to. The experience was not one to be easily forgotten.
A few days later, I saw another blind beggar defecating into a polythene bag on the pedestrian walk way in broad daylight, groping the ground to place the polythene bag in the right position under his buttocks but backing the express road. It reminded me of my earlier experience of the blind beggar and her son.
Life can be hard, the economy is said to be out of recession, but prices of goods and services have refused to recede, thus survival is tough for everyone, but in our own little way, we can reach out to our neighbour.
We can do more as humans. Let us do more.
In doing my own part, I have currently increased the amount of money I give to the poor and I’m also sorting out items I no longer need, to give out to the needy, as I have done a few times in the past.
At least I can put a smile on someone’s face out there.
Life is hard but it is more difficult for the destitute out there, especially the physically challenged ones.
Poverty is a harsh verdict on anyone, in fact, it is a curse. it robs one of the essence of living. A situation where one cannot afford the luxury of choice. In my own opinion,
Poverty is a terror, albeit without bombs.
Cecirem is a Contributor On Festaconline.com.ng