I’m standing in one of the wards at a government hospital. The walls are cracked. Loud cries are coming from one of the rooms. These are the cries of parents and children, cries of vulnerability.

From the doorway, I peer into the room. There are 20 beds divided into two rows of ten. In each bed lie three children. The doctors and nurses do not have enough resources such as medicines, enough oxygen masks, heart monitors. There is no air conditioning and the fans are not working. The machinery, Such as heart monitors, air cleansing machines, oxygen providers, etc., is not modern.

The room looks the exact opposite of what I previously saw in a private hospital. I feel guilty to have access to these facilities while the poor have much worse conditions to deal with when they are most vulnerable. There are five beds in one room in a private hospital. Unlike the government hospitals, private hospitals have one patient in each bed. The room is awfully commodious.

There is plenty of staff, such as nursing staff, paramedics and doctors, to rush about the patients. The beds are comfortable, the rooms have air condition units with curtains around each bed for privacy.

The difference between a government hospital and private one makes me realise that some people do not have privileges like us and it is up to us to help them. I realise how indebted I am, to have a comfortable place to sleep and access to quality education. The poor don’t even have the basic necessities of life, such as food, education and medical facilities. Hearing their helpless cries makes my knees want to crumble beneath me. At times like these, I want to snap my fingers to fix these issues for them and help them.

Let’s unite to help these people by donating money to hospitals and charity centres, and intern or volunteer at charity events that are organised for hospitals. Children can donate their toys, educate the poor or read books to children in these hospitals. We should use our voices to make people realise the need to help the indigent out and make a difference. The government may not be able to help the poor, but with our help, our government can save countless lives.

The stark distinction between the rich and poor depicts wealth inequality in our society. Let’s open our eyes to the biggest problem in most developing countries — wealth inequality.

Published in Dawn, Young World, September 11th, 2020