WHAT HAPPENS when children of lesser God like Kiran, 10, the daughter of a labourer from Hardoi, develop diseases like Aplastic Anaemia—a disease in which the body stops making blood?
Simple. They die. For, without money they can’t get a bone-marrow transplant costing around Rs 6.5 lakhs approximately.
But, Kiran, it appears, would survive.
In fact, she is getting the best medical facilities at the SGPGI’s department of Hematology (Bed no 11) much to the surprise of Kiran’s father, Sewaram, a labourer who had given it up after hearing about his daughter’s disease.
Kiran was admitted initially to KGMU, Lucknow from where she was referred to SGPGIMS, Lucknow on 13th April 2006. When Kiran was admitted at KGMU, the hospital authorities realizing that Kiran’s father would not be able to meet the medical expenses contacted Sapna Upadhyaya, a social worker who has been silently helping the needy.
Sapna readily agreed to help. But, after Kiran was transferred to SGPGIMS, it was learnt that her treatment would cost around Rs 6.5 lakhs.
Kiran’s father Sewaram, resident of village Sakatpur, in Hardoi district, who barely manages to make two ends meet, had sold off whatever meager assets he had. Due to inadequate monetary resources, Kiran was initially discharged from the SGPGI on 15th April 2006 and the reason cited in the discharge summary was— lack of finances. (However, call it a change of heart or whatever, the PGI authorities re-admitted Kiran sometime back after Sapna persisted with her efforts.)
Realizing that she could not possibly meet the entire cost on her own, Sapna gave an advertisement in the newspaper seeking aid for the ailing kid. The advertisement was read by Niti. She too like Sapna has avoided publicity despite the fact that she regularly helps the poor and the needy.
Niti contacted Sapna and both of them then set out to raise funds for Kiran’s treatment. They visited politicians, bureaucrats, NGOs, schools etc. After running from pillar to post, they managed to get Rs 1 lakh sanctioned from the CM’s relief fund (after Naresh Agarwal forwarded the request to CM’s office).
Another Rs 60,000 came from Sahara. Still, the amount was far too less. Now, they set out for schools where they got an overwhelming response from the kids. At Study Hall, where Niti spoke before the children in the assembly, there was a spontaneous response. “The response of the kids was to be seen to be believed. They immediately started pitching in with whatever help they had,” Niti recalls. By the time Niti could assess the kids’ response, the little ones had collected Rs 20,000. Another Rs 41, 000 came from Modern School, Aliganj.
“The rest were individual contributions. Now, we are short of the required amount by another Rs 1 lakh. The SGPGI authorities have been most co-operative,” Niti said while talking to HT Lucknow Live.