HindustanTimes Wed,26 Nov 2014

Freedom fighter, 92, has nowhere to go

Priyanka Vora, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 05, 2013
First Published: 01:48 IST(5/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:54 IST(5/2/2013)

More than 50 years ago, Laura Rodrigues D’Souza fought for the liberation of Goa, but today the 92-year-old lies in a hospital bed at St George Hospital, CST, waiting for someone to come and take her to a place she can call home.

Frail and bedridden, Laura is hoping her granddaughter in Canada will come and take her. The hospital administration, meanwhile, is searching for an old-age home as she has been declared fit to be discharged from the hospital.

“She was admitted to the hospital on November 29, 2012, with weakness and swelling in the neck. An unknown person admitted her and gave a Hyderabad address. As it was an emergency, we started treatment,” said Dr J Bhawani, deputy medical superintendent, St George Hospital.

However, after a week when doctors said she could go home, hospital nurses learnt she had no relatives or home in the city.

Her case was referred to the superintendent of medical social work Dattatray Vibhute who started searching for her relatives. “When we spoke to her she took out documents from a torn purse. We were shocked to see she was actually a freedom fighter and was receiving a government pension,” said Vibhute. Further investigations revealed she has a daughter in Dubai and a granddaughter in Canada.

Hospital authorities have now informed MRA Marg police station about Laura.  I was part of the Goa liberation movement,” said Laura, who has become famous in the hospital because of her peculiar food habits. “She only has aerated drinks and loves restaurant food. She refuses hospital food,” said a ward boy.

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