23 Dec 2013

Fluoride-contaminated water debilitates hundreds in Indian district.

An Indian tale of 'twisted' existence
Fluoride-contaminated water debilitates hundreds in Indian district.

Thirty-three-year-old Amshala Swami is taken care of like a child. He can neither walk nor do things himself. He sits in one place and stares at the ceiling or at people walking on the streets. Swami is not alone in his plight. In Sivannagudem, a village just 70km from the southern Indian metropolis Hyderabad, there are hundreds like him. The reason: fluorosis, a crippling disease caused by the contamination of ground water by the chemical fluoride.
A pipeline transporting the Krishna river water runs past Sivannagudem in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh state. But the water does not cater adequately to the needs of the village. The pipe is mainly for cities further down the line, and so, people in Sivannagudem extract fluoride-contaminated ground water for their needs.
Fluorosis-struck people are barely able to move their limbs, and are incredibly dependent on others for support [M.A.R. Fareed]
Swami says he would have died much earlier if his father had not taken care of him. His mother is mentally unstable. "I depend on my father for everything, including bath and food. I can barely move my limbs," Swami said, emotionally.
Swami was fine at birth. When he was five, fluorosis struck him. "Now, my bones are so brittle they can easily break if someone pulls my hand or hugs me tightly. Only my father knows how to

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