Mamata government wakes up to ailing gymnast's plight

Kolkata: Days after former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa announced financial assistance, the West Bengal government Monday said it will bear the medical expenses of the bed-ridden gymnast Soumita Dey.

Mamata Banerjee
Mamata Banerjee

Suffering from Neurosarcoidosis since 2012 and with the lower half of her body paralysed, the former gymnast and judge in the 2010 Commonwealth Games is undergoing treatment at a city nursing home.

Unable to bear the medical expenses, the family of the critically ill gymnast has been moving from pillar-to-post seeking financial assistance.

State Youth Affair Minister Arup Biswas Monday met Dey at the nursing home, two days after her father lamented lack of assistance from the Mamata Banerjee-led government.

"We have already reimbursed some of the medical expenses and informed the nursing home authorities that the state government will be bearing her entire medical expenses," Biswas said after meeting the gymnast.

An elated Soumita said the help from the Mamata Banerjee government has renewed her zeal to live.

"With the ever rising medical bills and our limited resources, I had given up all hopes. But I am grateful to our chief minister for rekindling my hope and the zeal to live and fight again," said Soumita.

Earlier, "moved by Dey's medical and poor economic condition", AIADMK general secretary and former chief minister Jayalalithaa Saturday announced Rs.5 lakh as aid for her.

The help from an unlikely quarter made the athlete's father, Simanta Dey, rue the lack of assistance from his own state government.

"We belong to a middle-class family and her treatment expenses are huge. We tried garnering help from the state government, but nothing came our way," Simanta had told IANS.

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