Once known as Sultan of Neemuch, 45-year-old former wrestler Pappu Pehalwan is battling poverty and death as he is left with no money for treatment of his damaged kidneys.
Winner of the district and state Kesari awards in the heavyweight category, Pappu, who was famous for defeating top wrestlers from Punjab and Haryana, now waits and hopes that the government will provide him financial aid for his treatment.
He says he is seeking financial help from people who once showered gifts and praises on him for bringing laurels to the city.
Four months ago, Pappu, a daily wager, discovered that both his kidneys were damaged and he urgently needed to undergo dialysis.
With no hope in sight, his family sold off their house a month ago for `2.25 lakh to arrange for his treatment, says Pappu, who now lives with his aged parents, wife and a disabled son at a rented house at Ahir Mohalla Baghana neighbourhood of the city.
“We’ve sold our house and barely left with anything else now, let alone a square meal a day, “says his mother, Leela Bai.
“Though some relatives and social organisations have come forward to help, it is insufficient for my son’s treatment,” she says.
She adds that the family has approached district chief health and medical officer KK Vaskale for help but nothing has come so far.
“Initially, the health department officials ignored us but when we went there a second time, we were given a lengthy form, which we did not understand as it was in English.”
The family was asked to submit an estimate of expenses for the treatment, says Vaskale.
“We arranged for an ambulance to take Pappu to Indore so he could get the estimate from doctors for his treatment. But he has not submitted it until now and once we get it, the government will provide financial help under the state medical care and health policy,” he says.