A nameless patient infested with maggots lies unattended at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital here, and while there’s all kinds of help and sympathy being offered, no one is ready to keep him.
A day after social worker moved him in with the help of Majitha Road shopkeepers, the “short-of-hands” hospital has appealed to non-government organisations (NGOs) to take him away. The foul smell from his body is making other patients in the orthopaedic ward uncomfortable. “We don’t want to stay here,” said visitor Devinder Kaur. “My patient might get infected.” The other cringing attendants were outside the ward, with their mouths covered.
“We don’t want him around. Keeping him here is dangerous,” said visitor Jaswinder Singh. “He lies in the bathroom but the foul smell from him is all over the ward.” Attending physician Dr Himashu said: “The difficulty in treating him is that he doesn’t keep still. The moment we take our eyes off him, he crawls to the bathroom or goes here and there. We know he needs care but we can’t tie him with a rope. I pay for his food and other necessities.”
Medical superintendent Dr Ram Sarup Sharma said: “The hospital doesn’t need money for nameless patients but people to take them into their care. We are short of manpower to deal with our rush.” Rajendra Sharma, the Right to Information (RTI) activist who brought the man to the hospital, said: “I have done my duty as social worker.”
“We have written to the All-India Pingalwara Charitable Society to take care of this man and appealed to more volunteer organisations to adopt nameless patients,” he said. Pingalwara chief administrator colonel Darshan Singh Bawa (retd) said he was unaware of the case but “as soon as I receive the letter, we will start the procedure to admit the patient”.
A few helpers at Pingalwara said on the condition of anonymity that “referring nameless patients to the society has become a regular practice with this hospital”. “They don’t have good treatment facilities. We try to accommodate them as much as we can but, at times, even we have too many patients at our hand,” said a helper.
A Red Cross Society representative offered financial help to the patient for medicines. “But we cannot give him shelter.”