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Selling assets to save fire victims

FAMILIES OF the victims of fire tragedy have resorted to selling jewelleries and contacting moneylenders to mortgage their dream houses to get the injured treated. Many of them have also taken loan from relatives and friends to meet hospital expenses.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2006 01:25 IST
S Raju

FAMILIES OF the victims of fire tragedy have resorted to selling jewelleries and contacting moneylenders to mortgage their dream houses to get the injured treated. Many of them have also taken loan from relatives and friends to meet hospital expenses.

The situation is worst for those admitted in Apollo hospital of Delhi. Seventeen victims are undergoing treatment there for serious burn injuries.

Family members of these injured complain of very high charges of treatment.

“The per day expenses there vary between Rs. 25,000 to 1 lakh,” said Ashok Jain whose wife Sadhana has been admitted there with 40 per cent burns.

Manoj Gupta, whose four family members were hurt, revealed that their biggest problem was shortage of money to save the lives of the injured members.

Susheel Jain, brother-in-law of injured Praveen Jain, a clerk in Meerut Collectorate, said that they had sold their jewelleries and now looking for some person who can mortgage the newly built house of Praveen at Shanti Nagar locality of Meerut for some money. Praveen’s cousin Sanjay had already spoken to many moneylenders in this regard. “We are left with no other option to save the life of Praveen, who is the only earning member of the family,” said Sanjay.

The families of Dr. PP Rastogi and owner of Popular Electric shop are also undergoing similar trauma. Six members of both the families are undergoing treatment in Apollo. They have taken loan from relatives and friends to meet hospital expenses.

Their ire is directed against the administration which assured them of free treatment. In their bid to get some help, the family members even called on Delhi health minister Yoganand Shastri on Sunday who wrote to the Apollo Management to treat the injured on humanitarian grounds. District magistrate Mukesh Meshram, however, said they had sought an estimate of expenses to be incurred on the treatment of the injured from the Apollo hospital management.

He is likely to send it to the state government with a request to issue a formal order to Apollo officials to treat the fire victims free and claim their bills from the state government.

“I have spoken to the CEO of Apollo Jaideep Gupta in this regard,” said the DM adding he had requested that the families of injured should not be pressurised to deposit heavy amounts against the treatment expenses.