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Saturday, 13 September 2014

She Didn't Even Have An Unbrella - AllHeartsAlways

 A couple of days ago, I went to express my displeasure at the shoddy customer service from a particular car company and on my way back to my office, I came across a very disturbing scene. I got into a bit of traffic on the newly constructed mile-two bridge and I noticed a woman sitting on the bridge, carrying THREE new babies. It took a few seconds for it to register in my mind, what I was looking at. I paused for a few more seconds to see if the babies would move as a part of me couldn't believe they were really triplets out in the open with their mother begging for alms. One of them moved and I almost burst into tears at the sight. Those triplets couldn't have been more than a few weeks old, yet there they were laying across their mother's laps begging to survive. 

Usually, I'm sceptical about such situations because I have read that some beggars actually "rent" babies from orphanages daily and use them to beg for alms. It is a cruel act for anyone to indulge in and I'm always wary but looking at the woman before me, I was highly convinced that she birthed those babies herself. There was this helpless air of despair about her and her tummy was bulgy enough to show that she probably carried those children herself. I was very stunned at her seemingly hopeless situation but out of my reverie, I knew I had to do something. I reached into my wallet and grabbed what I could and stretched it out to her but she couldn't reach the money because she had three little angels on her laps. :( As I tried to open my car door and get out, despite the impatient vehicles honking at me to move already, a woman standing beside her (waiting for a bus, maybe) came to me, got the money and passed it to her. I then managed to take two quick pictures as we had to move along in order not to obstruct traffic.

Unfortunately, there was no where to park and go back to her to hear her story. I was very upset and disturbed (and yes, I cried a bit) at the plight of the woman and her babies. Why is life so unpredictably cruel sometime? Where is her husband? Where are her family and friends? What becomes of those children, left out in the sun and rain? I was distraught and more upset because I did not get the chance to go up to her physically and hear her story and do more. 

So I sent out a tweet about it and the responses have been amazing. A lot of people re-tweeted it, some copied the Lagos state governor's handle in it and a few potty-mouthed sceptics even cussed me out for my efforts, lol. I have made efforts to get people living in that area to check up on the woman and the triplets, but everyone seems so busy or unavailable. I'm still on it and I have decided that if by the end of today I do not get anyone to go there, I would do so myself tomorrow.

I was contacted yesterday by someone from the Lagos State Government and I was assured that a team had been deployed to go to that spot and search for the woman and her babies. They told me that Lagos State government has shelters and a proper care system for destitutes. I was very relieved to hear about this development and I sincerely hope they find them and take them in for proper care. I appealed to the contact to ensure the woman is not antagonized or made to feel worse than her situation is during the course of their interview with her. I also told him that along that road, the same day I went, was another woman moving around traffic, begging for alms and carrying twins. They might want to find her and help her as well.


I think the government should engage an adequate advertising agency to handle their businesses by bridging the huge communication gulf between itself and the people. So many people are not even aware of the beneficial provisions made by the government for the people. I was not aware there are shelters in Lagos nor was I aware that there's an official twitter handle which one can report any irregularities in the society to. There's a lot of work to be done in enlightening people, but it is not rocket science. It can and should be done.

I will keep you updated on how everything turns out as it unravels. Have a lovely weekend ahead. Keep being AllHeartsAlways and together, we will build a better Nigeria quicker.

Follow @followLASG on twitter for prompt responses on issues in Lagos State,

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