For the poor, even a minor ailment can be crippling for their finances.
For 30-year-old Jalandhar native Vikram Kohli, life has been a long, hard struggle since his 12-year-old son, Aryan, was diagnosed with leukaemia - cancer of white blood cells - last year.
With son admitted to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, Vikram had to leave his job as a whitewasher and is now penniless, even as his son still needs around Rs 1 lakh to be spent on treatment.
Dr Deepak Bansal, a professor at the Advanced Paediatrics Centre, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research , says, “As Aryan has already completed a year of treatment, his disease in curable. We can save him, but to continue his treatment we need another Rs 1 lakh.”
Vikram, who has been battling the sickness of his child and rapidly dwindling finances, is now left to depend only on donations and sale of the few assets he has left, even for medicines for Aryan.
“I am now unemployed. My other two children can’t pursue their studies. However, if at the end of this struggle, my child can be saved it would be worth it,” he says, adding that his wife Geeta Kohli had already sold his jewellery for treatment expense.