Monday, December 26, 2005

The Dilemma of Help

Tsunami occurred about a year ago. Many helped.

Should I just suspend my work for a while and march off for help of the victims? If yes, who will do my work? Isn’t that important too? I may be a doctor. How do I prioritize one patient over the other? Someone might be dying in my absence here. How do I decide? The people who look after my patients in my absence – are they more insensitive than I am? Or should they come with me too? Who’ll run my hospital then?

Should I donate money? Should I donate clothes? How do I make sure that these things actually reach the victims? Should I run sting operations on fraud NGO’s that are gobbling up the money in the name of tsunami relief? Should I go to the affected area and work in person? What will happen if everyone runs off the affected areas? I’m not experienced in doing relief operations. Would my presence not be more of a problem rather than solution? I want to help but how?

I try to spread awareness. I write about it. I talk to people about it. People call me a snob. They say it’s only lip service. I don’t care as long as the job gets done. But then I begin to doubt myself. It is, after all, only lip service. I’m not doing anything palpable, tangible. Self doubt is a great enemy.

But cannot NOT do anything. I feel guilty. As a human I feel that I should help. But how?


  1. Hey Vinod,
    You've asked too many questions for some of the most difficult questions.
    But Ya, being a doctor is not so easy. You've to work your ass up to bring other ppl. to life! This post of yours provokes many questions which needs to be answered and answered fast!

  2. The difficult part is when one gets there. Last year I wanted to help out so, went to the beach to see I could do something but seeing all the dead people lying around, I just couldn't handle it. I returned home, shattered after seeing those haunting images.

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  4. It doesn't matter how you do it. Atleast I think so. Lip service is I suppose a thousand times better than giving out money when you know that 95% of it will end up with the honest Indian officials who feel pained about the victims while sipping coffee in air conditioned rooms. But yesif we find a better way, I don't know which, we shud go that way.