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She writhed in agony, uncle sent her back

Minor domestic help from Orissa made to work despite suffering a spinal injury.

delhi Updated: Nov 07, 2011 00:17 IST
Jatin Anand

Her tryst with agony began at the dawn of a chilly October morning, hours after she returned to her employer's residence from a wedding, two days before Diwali.

"My employer's wife had asked me to clean the garage fast so that she could get ready in time for her husband's brother's wedding in the evening. I had to get ready too, since I was also supposed to go with them and take care of the children," Sanjana (name changed) explained.

Just hours after her petite frame was crushed beneath an iron trunk, a couple of pain killers allegedly administered by her employer Abhinav Arya's wife, made her good to go.

Or so her employers thought.

At 3am on October 21, Sanjana returned to a single bed at her employer's residence at Paschim Vihar's Sunder Apartments and drifted off to sleep — only to be awaken by loud banging and curses hurled from beyond the wooden door attached to the rickety hinges of her living quarters.

"I tried to get up — but just couldn't. When I told didi (elder sister, a reference to her employer's wife, Deepika) that I really couldn't move because of the pain, she melted and told me she would take me to a doctor," Sanjana said, half a smile creasing her dry lips.

She was taken to an adjacent nursing home, injected with a dose of painkillers and declared fit to go home. Forced to get back to her routine chores despite the searing pain in her spine, Sanjana decided to ask her uncle, Suresh, for help.

"But he made me understand that it was important for me to work to earn a livelihood and sent me back. When I couldn't perform, didi called my uncle home and told him to get me to a hospital," she said.

Sanjana was driven to the RML Hospital and admitted to the general ward on the morning of October 22, where she spent the next eight days, before being shifted to the Gynaecology Ward for specialised treatment.

After spending the day with her, Sanjana's father begs the relatives of other patients for food as they vacate the hospital campus.