Personal Views

The birth of poverty

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 06 July 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:51
  1. Rakesh Biswas, assistant professor, internal medicine (
  1. Manipal Teaching Hospital, Pokhara, Nepal

    Poverty was a young boy of 4 who met me in the streets of a busy city in India begging for money. I, nearly the same age, peered at him once and then took a guilty look at my ice cream. After that I learnt the trick of gulping ice creams without batting an eyelid while a million such children of an impoverished nation looked on, eyes gleaming with desire.

    Many years have passed since then. In my medical career poverty has been a constant observer. In a country without an NHS, I have seen young people unable to afford a renal transplant dying in front of my eyes. Hospital policies in the premier institutes of India in which …

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