With help from mid-day readers, there were enough funds for the acid attack survivor’s daughter to receive schooling, but the absence of a birth certificate was coming in the way of admissions — till two engineering students volunteered to help
When mid-day had reported in December about acid attack survivor Mabiya Mandal’s only wish being to see her daughter go to school, moved readers sent funds from all corners of the city, to help realise her dream. However, the absence of five-year-old Anisha’s birth certificate had kept the school admissions on hold. That is, till Mulund resident Akash Desai (21) and his classmate Prathamesh Palkar (21), both in the final year of Engineering, volunteered to trace the birth certificate.
Good samaritans: Akash (left) and Prathamesh share a lighthearted moment with Anisha. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
The authorities of DY Patil Hospital authorities, who have adopted the young acid attack survivor, have been trying to enroll Mabiya’s daughter into a school for the approaching academic session, but the five-year-old child’s missing birth certificate had put the matter on hold, with schools in the vicinity saying that the document is essential for her admissions.
The two young boys took on the responsibility and traced the hospital in Saki Naka where Anisha was born in 2008.
Their hunt started at the ‘L’ ward office in Kurla, where they found two copies of the girl’s birth certificate.
Desai and Palkar, students of Nerul’s SIES Graduate School of Technology (GST), got in touch with Dr Shyam More, the deputy medical superintendent of Dr DY Patil hospital in Nerul, last month, while they were organising their college fest.
“He was providing us with an ambulance and some medical assistance for a marathon we had organised in college.
After the event was concluded, we went to thank him. He mentioned Mabiya’s case and how the hospital authorities were desperately trying to locate her five-year-old daughter’s birth certificate, which the family did not have,” said Desai. The two boys immediately volunteered to help in the search.
They took down details of the hospital where the child had been born five years ago. They also met Mabiya, who provided the ward number of the hospital and the name of the doctor who had delivered her daughter. “Armed with these basic details, we traced the ward where we could get the birth certificate. On February 21 we reached the Kurla L ward at 10 am.
“Initially, we were just being moved from one table to another. Eventually, a senior official there informed us that we would need some evidence of the fact that the mother stayed in the area,” said Palkar. Even though they did not have documentary evidence of this, the boys persuaded the officer at the ward. They narrated the ordeal that Mabiya had suffered, ever since her husband flung acid at her almost two years ago. “Finally, the officer asked us to get an undertaking from the mother stating that the birth certificates were to be issued to us. We immediately did that.
When he handed us two copies of the birth certificate we were so excited that we felt we had topped some exam,” said Desai. The boys wasted no time in handing over the certificates to Dr More.
Armed with the certificate, Dr More said that Anisha is ready to be admitted to a school in Nerul, in the coming academic year. “We received tremendous help from mid-day readers, who came forward to help the mother-daughter with money. Vijay Patil, our group president has taken full responsibility of Mabiya, otherwise her stay in the hospital would not have been possible for the last two years. These two young boys helped in making Anisha’s school admission process smoother. Their gesture, in return for which they want nothing, is very heartwarming,” said Dr More.