Mumbai: Baby with cancer leaves Parel guesthouse fully cured
It's A happy day for both Dhaniya Gargee’s parents and the police officials of the Railway Protection Force (RPF). Baby Dhaniya has been cured of the tumour in her back. Yet, with some sadness, she and her family bid goodbye to the RPF Parel rest house where they have been staying for several months.
Cured: Baby Dhaniya Gargee outside the Parel rest house in December; (left) mid-day report on Decemebr 25, 2013. FILE PIC
Officials from the RPF had converted their rundown rest house in Parel into an unofficial home for cancer patients in the city. The 10-room home, earlier in a shabby, dirty condition, was cleaned up and opened to people. Any cancer patient who was being treated, and couldn’t afford a bed in expensive hospitals, was welcome to stay here, free of charge. This noble initiative was reported about in mid-day, in its Christmas Day edition (‘RPF staff turn Santa Claus for cancer patients’).
20-month-old Dhaniya Gargee was diagnosed with a tumour near her spinal chord when she was 11 months old. Her parents came from Patna to the city to get her treated.
“We had no money for a hotel, and we stayed on the footpath for a few days. We came to know of this rest house and shifted here,” recalls Alok Kumar (31), the girl’s father.
The child was treated in Tata Memorial Hospital, and during the whole treatment programme, the family stayed at the rest house for nearly 6 months.
Kumar couldn’t hold back his tears when the doctor told him he could take his girl home. “This place saved us. It sheltered us,” said Lalsa Kumari, the mother. The couple, though now in Patna, will have to return next month for Dhaniya’s check-up.
Officials who set up the home charged no fee whatsoever, nor did they demand any contributions. Whoever pooled in money voluntarily was welcome. “We decided to do something for people who don’t get a place to stay in the city,” said an official who looks after the home.
The home has gained popularity; sometimes, patients have to wait to be admitted. New people have also been taken in. Presently, patients are being awaiting completion of their treatments, as it takes time.