“Developer & Destroyer”- Can Gandhigiri Help Fight Ebola?


Rakesh Manchanda

Times Magazine this year interestingly chose the collective Ebola caretakers as the Person of the Year-2014. Ebola fight with an invisible enemy is different. It needs extraordinary courage and commitment. Mahatma Gandhi teachings were clear- “Whenever you are confronted with an opponent conquer him with love.

Mahatma Gandhi words of wisdom on handshake politics was bang correct-“In a gentle way you can shake the world.” Another quote of Gandhi says-“You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.”


Imagine a `No Handshake` Nation in modern times? Ebola the bully Virus going global now with no cure is forcing almost all 54 African nations to adopt a `No Handshake` Culture. See the Governors of West African countries recently with clenched fists in air and no warm handshake in action. 
October-2014-President Kiir and Museveni adopting Namaste Greetings
Handshake or a Bow is the first silent global greeting of any human touch. It is more than a Hello! It is a natural silent gratitude for a future binding contract. In business, politics, consolidation, friendship, love or solidarity the warm touch of hand displays the magic of commitment. Historical source say handshake stems power transfer from a God to a King. A folklore belief says that a handshake was a means to trace and check another man for a weapon or a knife tucked in a sleeve. Today even bitter enemies in political lobbies shake hands for the betterment of people.

Indians greeting of `Namaskar` with folded hands or Chinese bow is more safe in such situation.

What goes wrong when you shake hands with an Ebola suspect?
There is a grave possibility of transmission. An adult human body carries 70% fluids and hand sweat circulation ensures a faster transfer of virus.

Ebola Handshake syndrome as per Mali-West Africa experience:  To understand why the need of hand gloves from doctors to citizens is suddenly appearing -Let us sample a new Ebola Hit country-Republic Of Mali. In my first Ebola Emergency write up, I tried to sketch the rumours attacking a new Ebola hit country. As per WHO slide show the chain of contact got dangerous in Mali when a two year old Ebola infected girl died on 25th.October.The fear was that her body fluids and sweat must have infected 141 others in this border town of 128,000 people called Kayes. Here 57 `infected` in the contact chain are still missing. This small town Kayes went in a grip of fear. One third people started wearing gloves and rest stopped shaking hands. The gloves in October-2014 in and around Kayes were sold overnight and the price went skyrocketing. The elite in Mali later went a step ahead in a false protection mode by adding goggles, gloves and mask in their daily user list.
Ebola fear is not limited to a mere handshake or a traditional burial kiss. Clearing the vomit, sweat, saliva, urine, stool of an Ebola suspect also needs a new safe sterilised culture with new expensive disposable wears for rescuers as discussed in my past write ups.
Doctors are helpless. They need extraordinary courage to sustain an Ebola case. Scratch WHO funds and research support for this 40 years old Ebola Monster. Research support was never fulfilled claim the experts. Rich countries in a grip of Ebola fear are forced to spend almost a thousand times more. The dark side to a greedy system of profit-oriented American pharmaceutical giants gets exposed.

Gloves or No Gloves for safety, Ebola is the ultimate global test of cultural hygienic practices. Containing it is a matter of washing hands, having clean water, and hygienic toilets, and prompt cremation burial.

Human kind needs a hand-shake, a hug and a passionate pat and cuddling. Without all these, humanity can’t survive advocates Balmurali Balaji-Founder of Techno-Gandhian Forum.

If we do not have an effective garbage recycle plan as in Delhi-India or elsewhere in Africa, no sanitation system and no water purification plants in order and if we leave dead animal bodies out in the open for vultures to eat, then Bats and Ebola like Virus will party.

This is the only Planet we have. Let us defeat Ebola to protect our safe living. Ebola is a threatening force! It has no right means to attain its right-hood due to a human error and negligence in the past 40 years of its presence now visible to all.

A safe Mahatma Gandhi handshake for a clean corruption free Ebola free world is a must.

About author: Worked in African countries since 2006 as Director-Grafax Cotton Pvt.Ltd. and had been supporting International Red Cross and few NGOs as volunteer on Basic and Advance Life Support.

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