ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fish in the Time of Malaria

A visit to the District Malaria Officer’s premises reveals that the National Malaria Control Programme could well be upset by urchins stealing larvae-eating fish to make pakoras.

The entrance to the compound is a broken wooden gate. On both sides of the entrance are small kiosks—on one side, a cobbler’s shop selling handmade sherwani jootis (whatever they are), while on the other side is a wholesale grain shop. Needless to say, the wares of both these shops are stacked outside and encroach on the approach to the compound. And to top it all, a roadside tailor has set up his sewing machine there as well, blocking a substantial part of the approach. The tailor, with a board proudly hung on the wall of the compound, advertises “all repair and new clothes.”

I have seen this building for years—a decrepit structure inside a walled enclosure with a massive compound. The compound was unpaved and therefore somewhat slushy because of the overnight downpour. The building itself is almost certainly more than five decades old. A board, which is worn out with age and is barely readable, informs me that this is the office of the District Malaria Officer.

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