If hope is infectious, so is depression.
The family, which was rescued from a Rohini flat on Saturday, had been pushed into the deathly hallows of despondency by a series of tragedies. It all started with the marriage of Mamta, the elder of the two sisters. However, instead of the beginning of a new life for Mamta, the marital bond proved the onset of the never-ending problems for her family.
Mamta had to endure years of violence and abuse at the hands of her husband. He left her 12 years ago and Mamta, having nowhere else to go, returned to her parents' house with a three-year-old son.
Her failed marriage unleashed the floodgates of misfortune upon Mamta's family. "Mamta returned home after three years of her marriage. Few years later her father lost his eyesight and later died," said Neeraj Gupta, Mamta's cousin, who rescued the family which had been cooped up in a room of their Rohini flat for the past six years.
"They were attached so much that when Mamta went into depression, 29-year-old Nirja — Mamta's sister — followed her into the bouts of hopelessness and dejection," added Neeraj.
Apart from Mamta and Nirja, their mother Nirmala Devi and Mamta's 15-year-old son were also rescued from the Sector 8 flat.
"It was a two-storey flat but they all used to live on the ground floor. Even we were not allowed to enter inside. On Saturday, I finally gathered courage to call up the ambulance as this was the only way to save them," he said.
The family survived on help from relatives after the death of Mamta’s father. "The two girls never used to came outside. Their mother used to come out in the evening and Mamta's son played with colony children," Kunal, a neighbour said.
Mamta and Nirja were admitted to Baba Ambedkar Hospital. "Mamta, who weighed just 15 kg, is now showing signs of improvement," said Neeraj.
Nirja, whose condition was comparatively better, was unable to move her lower limbs.