A visible form of charityBMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6936.1108a (Published 23 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1108
- R Kale
BBC documentaries about Third World countries, their problems, and what talented, devoted people with missionary zeal from the developed world are doing about them are common. Unfortunately, they perpetuate the erroneous impression that people from the developing world are helpless dimwits waiting to be delivered from their tribulations.
QED's “Lifeline Express” is another documentary in this genre. The Englishman Sir John Wilson, his wife Jean, and Voltas, an Indian public limited company, seem to be the moving force behind the hospital train which travels between Indian villages, holding health camps that bring “hope to the hopeless.”
The film begins with the story of Bismilla, a 7 year old girl who has only ever crawled because of poliomyelitis which she had when she was …