Friday, April 28, 2006

Chernobyl: the legacy

This is a very disturbing portrayal of the human disaster wrought by the Cherynobyl fallout ten years ago.

There is no question that the radiation has damaged hundreds of thousands of people. And yet I am having a hard time with some of the portrayals and articles about the human victims, because the language used to describe the children implies, for instance, that the victims are "monsters" and that they "look like a whole other race". This video, for all the compassion you can hear in the narrator's voice, flatly states the Belarus people face degeneration as "people like these grow up to pass on their genes to the next generation" (to paraphrase).

In addition, the conditions shown in this institution are inhumane in the extreme, yet the narrator describes the children being fed on the floor as "loved and cared for" at the same time he acknowledges that when they grow up they will simply be admitted to the main mental institution.

What happened is horrible. But the resulting congenital disorders do not remove anyone from the human race. These are human beings, not "disasters", not "monsters".

Well, while I examine my conscious to see why this kind of portrayal of legitimate horror-so illustrative of man's hubris and our unconcern for the consequences of our own misuse of our world-strikes cords of dismay in my mind, maybe some of my readers know what efforts are ongoing to try to help Belarus. What is a legitimate effort ongoing, and how I can support it; where to send my money or otherwise do my share. Sincerely. I can't go rescue all those kids literally, but I'm hoping there is something that I can do that will be more than a token response.

I should note that it is not possible to determine from this video just how many of these children have conditions that were the direct result of the Chernobyl fallout. The WHO Chernobyl report has data that indicates the rate of congenital problems has not substantially increased, so perhaps this should be kept in mind.

However, regardless of cause, this video's portrait of children in a floundering society is very disturbing and thought provoking.



Blogger Dream Mom said...

I have seen references to that lately as well. I fail to understand the lack of compassion shown to these children and children in general around the world over things that happen to them, of which they had no control. These children are not monsters, they are victims. So often, people tend to forget.

Bless you for writing this story. I remember this story when it happened and the recap doesn't do these people/children justice. Are we, as a society, getting less compassionate?

3:30 PM  
Blogger Tara's World said...

It seems longer then 10 years! I saw a news show recently about the children of Chernobyl. Basically they are the throwaway children.. SO sad. The Govt refuses to accept their existance. I read you often - Keep up the beautiful work.. and oh yeah.. YOU ARE A NURSE!

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty amazing. In that someone blames the Chernobyl accident for these kids and their conditions. I've followed closely the scientific followup of the thousands who were in the areas of interest (near ground zero and fallout pattern areas) and not a shred of report from the thousands of scientist's showing that there have been any increase in deformaties etc. Thyroid cancers, as expected are up and a lot of other cancer's that were 'predicted' did not happen. This link is hyperbole at best. The kids are certainly to be pittied due to the abismal conditions and lack of care they are receiving. Who can be surprised. AFter all, it is Russia.

1:33 PM  

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