Seven families from Zimbabwe, who are here to get their children treated for congenital heart disease under Chandigarh Rotary Club’s Heartline Project, say they are finding it difficult to adjust with spicy food and hot, humid weather.
“Due to poor health services back home, open heart surgeries are not done. As a pilot project with the help of South Korea, the service was started, but it’s is still a costly affair,” said Khulekani Neube, whose child underwent a heart surgery here.
Seven children arrived 15 days back for the free heart surgery. The club claims under the project, it saved the lives of nearly 620 children, including 120 from Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Iraq, and African countries of Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
Neube, who does travel and tourism business, added, “The cost of a heart surgery is very high in Zimbabwe, which is one reason we are here. It is my first visit to India. Though our government is opening clinics in border areas, one has to cover a huge distance to go there.”
Talking about the change in food, and climate, Neube said it took them a few days to get used to “spicy dal, and humid weather”. “Among many other country food items, I miss ‘sadza’, a hard paste of cornmeal usually served with vegetables and meat, the most.”
Gladys Takundwa, a home manager, said, “The status of women is changing in our country. They are now given equal rights to inherit property.” Her two children have been operated upon here.
“The government in our country is now stressing on women safety, and there’s a significant drop in crime,” added Takundwa.
Macurity Shanu, who loves Punjabi culture and ‘bhangra’, says just like two dominant vernacular languages — Shona and Ndebele — English is taught right from the elementary level in Zimbabwe.