VIP culture: Disabled children made to wait for 3 hours for wheelchairs | punjab | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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VIP culture: Disabled children made to wait for 3 hours for wheelchairs

The disabled people, including children, were called to the PGIMER where Rajnath was to inaugurate a 300-bedded serai.

punjab Updated: Jan 31, 2018 12:23 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
The minister, who was supposed to arrive at 11am, reached the venue at 11:35am. But before meeting the disabled children, he, along with other VIPs, planted saplings on the premises, leaving the children, who were waiting for him, high and dry.
The minister, who was supposed to arrive at 11am, reached the venue at 11:35am. But before meeting the disabled children, he, along with other VIPs, planted saplings on the premises, leaving the children, who were waiting for him, high and dry.(Karun Sharma/HT)

Disabled children, as young as 2-year-old, were made to wait empty stomach for nearly three hours by the Indian Red Cross Society, Chandigarh, just because the authorities wanted their picture clicked with Union home minister Rajnath Singh while donating wheelchairs.

The disabled people, including children, were called to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) where Rajnath was to inaugurate a 300-bedded serai.

The minister, who was supposed to arrive at 11am, reached the venue at 11:35am. But before meeting the disabled children, he, along with other VIPs, planted saplings on the premises, leaving the children, who were waiting for him outside the serai, high and dry. And on top of it, they were not allowed to leave until the minister left the venue around noon.

When asked why her child was crying, Anita Kumari, the mother of 2-year-old Manya, said: “She is hungry. We are waiting for the minister to come since 9am and it is 11.30am now. Had the authorities informed us that we had to wait for so long, I would have brought something to eat for my daughter.”

“What would my child do with the wheelchair... she is too small to sit on it?” she questioned.

Another troubled parent was Mahesh Sharma, who was seen facing difficulty in making his 4-year-old son, Lucky, sit on the wheelchair. “He does not sit for long, he feels comfortable only on the bed. He is in pain and we cannot even leave now,” he said, adding that the officials should not have made them wait.

Kamlesh, a mother of 23-year-old woman who is facing neurological disorders, was found holding her daughter’s head during the event. “What will I do with this wheelchair? I would have been grateful if they had helped me with a trolley or in some other way. My daughter cannot sit on this,” she said.

But some others were grateful to the Red Cross Society for providing them with wheelchairs. “My wheelchair was broken and I was worried that how will I buy another one? I am grateful to the Red Cross for this,” Nisha Kumari, who is suffering from polio, said.

NO STALLS OUTSIDE PGIMER

Vendors who set up their food and fruit stalls outside the PGIMER were also left high and dry due to the minister’s visit. No stall was seen outside the institute till afternoon. Attendants of patients find it convenient to buy fruit and have food at these stalls.

The Chandigarh municipal corporation that had placed a mobile toilet near a temporary shelter outside the venue was removed as soon as the minister left. MC officials were also seen getting roads leading to the institute re-carpeted a few minutes before the minister’s arrival.