Thursday, March 31, 2011

Plight of a Hungry Man - Part Two

So I saw John Doe again this morning (calling him that because I don`t know his name and I hear them do that in American movies, hmmmmmm... maybe I should do my Ghanaian version). In that case, I saw Kwaku Doe this morning still looking so sad and again I didn`t see him get any money from the rounds he made. Looking at him today, I`m beginning to think he might have a mental problem. He is well dressed, his hair is not so well kept but he doesn`t have the dreadlocks (don`t know what else to call it - apologies to my natural hair loving people) I`m used to seeing on mentally challenged people on the streets. Well, even if he is mentally challenged, he still has to eat. Which reminds me of this girl I saw a couple of weeks ago at Banana Inn.

For some reason I can`t get the girl`s face out of my mind. I saw this young girl probably in her late teens or early twenties and I believe she is probably past being mentally challenged. Well if her appearance is anything to go by, I`d say I`m right. The girl, [Jane Doe - Ghanaian version Akua Doe (no offense to Wednesday borns - that`s the first name that came to my head)was butt naked and singing and dancing on the street. I`m used to seeing naked mentally challenged people on the streets but this girl really caught my attention first because of her age and then her looks. She is so pretty and of course it got me thinking about her, what got her in her current situation considering her age and all that. Well, this is a topic for another discussion.


So back to Kwaku Doe, even if he is mentally challenged like I`m beginning to suspect, he`s still got to eat and survive. Who`s responsibility is it anyway to get mentally challenged people off the streets and into the mental institutions? Can our mental institutions house all the mentally challenged people on the streets anyway? I remember I once saw a news story about lack of space at the mental institutions in the country since patients that have been treated and discharged were not welcome back in their homes and as such had to remain at the institution.


Is this the situation in other countries? I honestly doubt if I would see naked people walking on the streets of London. I guess we as a country are not there yet. I know some countries have homeless shelters for the homeless so even healthy men and women who have fallen on hard times can get a place to lay their head. I even learnt in some countries it is possible to survive on welfare which is paid by the government. I wish we really could do something like that in Ghana too (I know someone will probably say then we will all stop working and survive on welfare - but then I doubt if it`s enough to live comfortably on). And what about the persons with disabilities also begging on the streets


I seem to have more questions than answers. Maybe some day, we will be able to take care of the less fortunate in our society without them having to resort to begging. Maybe someday it will be possible to drive around the country without seeing a single naked person on the street. Maybe someday persons with disabilities will not have to beg on the streets. Maybe someday people will not have to hawk on the streets in order to make a living. Maybe someday all our children will have a memorable childhood and not have to weave in between cars selling pure water.


But about Akua Doe... I wonder where she is now. Such a young pretty girl, hmmmm...

2 comments:

  1. The country I live in has some welfare states and I live in one of them. The state provides cash aid, health benefits, food for low-income people. It is pretty much funded by the taxpayers. In the past, you could be on it forever but there was talk 2 years ago about puting a 5-yr cap on it.
    Even with welfare, homeless shelters & soup kitchens, there are still people sleeping in parks, parking garages & under bridges & highway flyovers.
    I believe Ghana will get to a point where the state can provide these social services to low-income citizens. I have seen people out here in the streets that clearly have mental issues but not as many as seen in Accra. (I had to add that since the grass is really not sooo green on this side of the fence).
    Ghanaians generally care about people so I think if funds are set aside for social services, we will be able to provide better care for those not in the position to take care of themselves

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  2. Your a good girl.

    Humphrey

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