Purnima Ramakrishnan's Blogs

  • Water on Our Doorstep This Earth Day

    “Universal access to water is a right to all and now it is just on our doorsteps,” said Celia. I was traveling as a International Reporting Project Fellow, and we had just arrived in the semi-arid city of Cumaru, in the North-Eastern state of Pernambuco. We had lunch at the home of Joelma, a farmer in Cumaru. She made delicious rice and palma (a variety of sustainable cacti, native to the land, and which is used to feed both livestock and people) salad with lots of vegetables in it . And then we went to the farm of her sister-in-law, Celia. When Celia was six years old, she used to go downhill and carry water back up to her home in pots and buckets, and she recalls them being very heavy. When she cajoled her father, he sometimes let her use a donkey...

  • Brazil’s Health Care System – A Right to All

    Raimunda is a 46-year-old mother to two beautiful daughters aged 19 years old and 7 years old. She sadly has lungs cancer, stage-4, has undergone chemotherapy, and now is in palliative care. Her family physician, Dr. Rodrigo D’Aurea took us to her house  yesterday in a locality called Boa Vista in the suburbs of Sao Paulo which has a population of 20,000 people. She was diagnosed almost a year and half ago and she was already in stage-4. She has a very aggressive form of lung cancer. She used to smoke a long time ago, but has kicked the habit for more than a decade. Her husband used to contribute to the family’s upkeep until her elder daughter was 18 years old, but in the past year, he has stopped doing it. She has some pension from her retirement and she crochets for a...

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