The death of more than 100 children in Muzaffarpur, Bihar is still a question vaguely answered. But this vagueness has surely raised havoc to the common man. Lychee, tropical fruit in the genus ‘Litchi’ is not just some fruit here! The place is known as the litchi kingdom for the shahi litchies produced here that lures people of all age. If we see the facts as stated by the experts, there are toxins like MCPG( methylenecyclopropylglycine) present in the fruit.’ Toxins’ and ‘poisons’ share the same umbrella but there is a difference. Poison, even if consumed in smaller quantity stands as fatal while toxins become poisonous when consumed in a certain large quantity.
The toxins present in the lychee fruit lowers the blood glucose level resulting in symptoms of acute encephalitis that includes mental confusion, disorientation, delirium, or coma. There is a little gap between these symptoms observed and they getting fatal.
Dr. T J John, former president of the Indian Association of Pediatrics (IAP) and Emeritus Professor of Virology at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, has called AES “a Since “any brain disease in a kid may be called AES,” meaningless term.”.
There, however, is something that should not go unnoticed!TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Treasures-Lychee. Sweet and juicy lychee is favored by many as a tasty fruit, but it is also a multifunctional medicinal herb in traditional Chinese medicine. Lychee includes plenty of antioxidant flavonoids such as vitamin C, vitamin B-complex, and phytonutrient. The core of lychee helps dispel pathogenic cold, regulate energy, remove energy stagnation and relieve pain. The reasons why we have been consuming it!!
Now, if we move to the connection that these innocent children share, they all belong to the poor sector of the society. For them, it is not unusual to sleep with an empty stomach and waking up with a desperately hungry belly that finds luxury in devouring Lychees as much as needed to satiate the hunger. Their bellies, like them, are not aware of the repercussions they shall face due to the toxicity. Don’t you feel this ignorance and lack of knowledge is the real toxin and not the poor lychee fruit?
The people who grow Lychee for commercial purpose, what happens to them? Even if they don’t eat lychee, the lychee eats them, the death, a surety! The fruit that they grow is not only fruit to them but their efforts and investments too. And what happens to it all when the fruit is blamed and not the real poison, malnutrition!
People don’t eat lychee for they now live in the mayhem. Ironically, the decrease in consumption of the fruit decreases the chances of the families (who grow it) having a not-empty stomach! The lower sector gets caught up in this vicious triangle. Maybe some of them did not lose their child but they surely lose peace.
Writer: Namrata Biswas