Monday, November 12, 2007

An innocent sacrifice

I heard of the sad news about a 12-year old girl named Mariannet Amper, who took her own life because of poverty. Her father went out of job several months before and her mother work part-time in a noodle factory earning a mere P50.00 ($1.00) a day. The night before she committed suicide, she asked her father P100.00 for her school project but her father coudn't give her any. The family is living in a shanty with no running water or electricity in Ma-a, Davao City. She took her life by hanging herself using a nylon cord.

Days before she died, she has plan of writing to Wish ko lang!, a local TV program that grants wishes to selected individual who would write them and relate their wishes. However, she never did finish her letter. In her letter, she wished for a new school bag, a new pair of shoes, a bicycle for her brother, and a better-paying job for her parents.

The sad plight of the little girl caught the nation in shock and disbelief that such a young age was so distraught about poverty. Many media personalities and bigwigs went to her tiny abode to condole with the family. The TV program Wish ko lang, dedicated a special segment for her and granting most of her wishes including a dozen goats for farming, and full college scholarships to her siblings. At the end of the segment the program appealed to viewers not to resort to drastic moves to get the network’s attention. I watched the program teary-eyed last Saturday afternoon.

Mariannet's family is just one of the many Filipino families living in harsh conditions due to poverty. It is very unfortunate that it will take the death of a young girl before people start moving and pointing fingers at each other. For Mariannet's family, her death didn't go in vain as several people and organizations have moved in to offer help and assistance. But to others who are also experiencing such difficulties, I hope the government would listen to a girl's plea so seriously and start doing something about the country's poverty problems. This has been one of those wake-up calls for them and I don't know when will they ever wake-up from a very very deep slumber.

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