Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Deserted mother goes from riches to rags

VATSALA SHRANGI New Delhi | 25th May 2013 Radha was rescued by a Delhi-based NGO and admitted to the GTB hospital. Barefoot, semi-nude, around 67-year-old, this abandoned woman was found lying on the streets of Civil Lines in the national capital. She has been on the streets for five years, ever since she was deserted by her family. Now, having lost some of her mental faculties, she just smiles and asks for food if one approaches her. Ironically, the woman with a bony frame and swollen legs seen wandering on this road once used to own a house in this posh locality. She also had a job. She has since then remained unnoticed by society as well as by the local administration. Rescued recently from the main Rajpur Road near a vegetable store by the Social Jurist, an NGO run by advocate Ashok Agarwal, she was initially taken to the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IBHAS). However, found in a terrible medical condition, she was then shifted to Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital in East Delhi for primary treatment. Shopkeepers in the area who used to feed her all these years reveal that she worked as a clerk with a private company and lived with her husband who was a driver with Tata Motors and two sons. The husband died around 20 years ago. "Long after her husband's death, the property was fraudulently taken over by her two sons who sold it and went away leaving her on the streets to meet her fate. The shock of being cheated by her own children has left her in the current state," said a shopkeeper at a vegetable store, who went to school with her elder son. "One of her sons had come once some time back to see her, but did not take her back home where he lives now in Mehrauli," he added. However, except for offering food and at times shelter, no one has cared enough to look after her mental or physical health. Sitting now on the hospital bed she feels secure and when questioned about her identity she answered merely said "Radha". She fell silent again and after a pause said, "Radha Tiwari". She has a solemn face and speaks proper Hindi, including a few words of English as well. Being prompted again on how she is feeling she says, "Here I get food and bed to sleep. I will go from here when I feel like." Meanwhile she talks to herself and when asked about her husband and family she points to her head and says, "His name was Babu Lal and he used to drive with Tata. I have two sons named Raju and Kanhaiya. They have gone," before she goes back to sleep again. We had to work hard to get her admitted to the hospital said Aarti Agarwal of the NGO. The hospital staff were reluctant to admit her since we did not have orders from the court and did not go by the police, which is essential in such cases. It was only after we took responsibility signing as her guardians and an intervention from the Delhi government's department for women and child development that she was admitted. Meanwhile, Dr Nimesh Desai, director of IBHAS, updating on her condition said that when she was brought to them her haemoglobin count was only 3.2. "We will be able to treat her only after she gains her general health," he said. The Sunday Guardian

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