The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has been inundated with requests of monetary donations for Rohit Kumar, a 14-year-old, who has been stuck at the hospital for more than a year because his family is too poor to purchase a ventilator.
Hindustan Times had carried an article on January 24 (In AIIMS for a year, Rs 1 lakh for ventilator will send boy from Bihar home) highlighting Rohit’s plight.
The AIIMS online payment gateway has nearly crashed once as thousands tried to donate money, ranging from a few hundreds to a few thousand rupees, for the boy.
The hospital has also opened a recurring account for donations for Rohit under its ‘adopt a patient’ scheme.
Within 48 hours of HT’s report, close to Rs 2 lakh has been deposited online for Rohit by more than 100 people.
“Our online system encountered glitches and many people money couldn’t donate, so we decided to open a recurring account for Rohit and other patients like him who need help,” said an administrative official from the hospital.
The hospital has received more than 200 calls, including international calls from residents of Singapore and Canada, apart from more than 100 mails, offering to help the boy. Some doctors of the institute too have offered to contribute after reading about the boy’s plight.
“Several people have called us and volunteered to help. We are asking them to write a cheque. Almost a hundred people had called till Wednesday evening,” the official said.
People, who want to donate offline, have been requested to write a cheque or demand draft in favour of ‘adopt a patient, AIIMS,’ with a covering letter addressed to the director, AIIMS.
“For those who are donating Rs 10,000 or more, a copy of id proof, preferably pan card, needs to be attached with the cover letter,” the official said.
“Rohit’s case has been highlighted. But, there are several other patients who are in similar need. We may have achieved the monetary target set for Rohit, but we want the residents to keep donating for other patients,” he said.
Rohit belongs to Bihar’s Siwan district and was brought to AIIMS a year ago. His farmer parents, who earned Rs 6,000-7,000 a month couldn’t afford a portable ventilator that costs around Rs 1 lakh.
The teenager has been occupying bed 19 in the neurosurgery-3 ward at the AIIMS for more than a year though he should have been discharged by January 1, 2016 after a spine surgery.
AIIMS, which is also a referral facility, is overwhelmed by patients from across the country. Every bed, every space counts.
“He is my patient and I have had literally been running from pillar to post to secure funds for him. He just needed a portable ventilator. Looks like finally he will be able to go home,” said Dr Sumit Sinha, professor, neuro surgery department.
Rohit’s mother, Munni Devi, who moved to Delhi from Bihar a year ago to be with his son, is also glad that she will be finally going home with her son.
“I was told we can finally go home. After more than a year, it still feels unreal,” she said.