Dorris Francis, the 57-year-old traffic volunteer woman who braved all weather and congested traffic conditions in the last several years at the dangerous Khoda cut on NH-24 near Indirapuram in Ghaziabad, is now battling cancer and admitted to a hospital in Delhi.
Her family has been forced to pledge their small house in Khoda colony, Ghaziabad for Rs 25,000 for her treatment.
“During Diwali time, Dorris was managing traffic when she complained of abdominal pain. We took her to the doctor and got several tests done which confirmed cancer. She has been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for the past 12 days. I have decided to pledge my house for her treatment. The money is slowly disappearing,” said Victor, Dorris’s husband.
The family would also be paying interest to a local money lender. Prior to this, they approached an NGO for help. However, they refused to help because of cash crunch caused by the demonetisation.
“Normally, the money lender offers money at the rate of 10% interest. But he has been kind enough to lower the interest rate as the money is required for her medical treatment. So far, he has not given us the money. But he says he is trying to arrange it. My daughter had to sell her bike for Rs 20,000,” he added.
The events leading to Dorris and her husband becoming traffic volunteers at Khoda cut were painful. In 2009, the couple was returning from hospital with their 20-year-old ailing daughter Nikki when a speeding car hit their auto, critically injuring their daughter.
“My daughter underwent treatment for nearly a year at the hospital as she suffered major lung injuries during the accident. My daughter could not survive. My other daughter was three-month-old then. After her death we decided to manage the unruly traffic so that no parents lose their child to accidents,” Victor added.
Since then Dorris had been voluntarily regulating traffic at the same Khoda cut where she lost her daughter. The family is now surviving on the earnings of their son, who is an autorickshaw driver.
Victor suffers from cataract and diabetes. He often accompanied Dorris to manage traffic but had to stop due to poor eyesight.
After hearing the plight of Dorris, some good Samaritans from Indirapuram urged members of Federation of Apartment Owners Association (FAOA) to help the ailing traffic volunteer.
“She has managed traffic braving all conditions on a congested highway. It is testing time for her family and residents should support them. We have sent communication to our group members and asked them for help,” said Alok Kumar, founder, FAOA.