Yesterday at Khan Market red light, while waiting I was selecting which CD to play in my car when I heard a knock on the window, I looked outside and saw Rajesh was standing their with a hope to get something from me in his eyes. I looked at him, and I don’t know why I started talking to him. I usually don’t give money to beggars unless they are very old or very disabled. Rajesh looked OK, but he was walking with a lot of difficulty with clutches. I parked my car, and as promised to him I walked back to him to finish my conversation with him.
He did not look like a beggar to me, his bandages were not so old. So I asked, he was an Auto Rikshaw driver, who met with an accident few months ago. He broke is legs and hip in that accident. He was being treated at a reputed government hospital here, where he said patients were ill-treated and were even made to stay in restrooms and were forced to vacate the ‘Bed’ as the doctors felt they were their for only food – even if they complained discomfort or pain. He feels, his current condition is a case of medical negligence, which has made him a beggar. His family sold his Auto Rikshaw and their house to get him treated and make him walk on his own feet again, but only to discover due to problem in the new stainless steel hip his right leg is now shorter than the left leg and he now, after loosing everything he hard earned, he can not drive again, he can not even walk straight without supports. He also told me that a lady had helped him by getting his left leg operated and had spend Rs. 150,000.00 for the same.
I don’t know how true his side story is, but I know our government run hospitals are not always well kept, are under staffed and general wards are always over crowded. He is willing to take me to the hospital to prove his truth, I am not sure if I will go to that extent… But with so many private institutions are now coming up in the city, can’t our government help these poor people by providing them benefits at all the private medical centers as well? If we can shell out Rs. 1000 Crore for CWG, we can provide better medical facilities in this country as well, isn’t it?