Mumbai has often been termed as a heartless city where citizens, caught up in the frenzy of their daily lives, may not make an extra effort to help the needy. But there are times when this notion is debunked. Senior doctors of the civic-run Sion hospital setting up a trust fund to collect money for three-year-old Samruddhi Nagte so she can get a prosthetic leg, is one such instance. Samruddhi’s lower left leg was amputated at the hospital after it was severely injured following the Diva-Sawantwadi Express’ derailment near Roha last week.
Samruddhi Nagte will be ready for prosthesis within two months
Dr Suleman Merchant, head of the radiology department at Sion hospital, said, “The prosthetic legs will cost approximately R30 lakh. A few people who learnt about the girl’s plight came forward to donate some money. A government employee, who has a meagre salary, gave us a cheque of R10,000. A couple also approached us with the proposition of adopting Samruddhi,” he said.
Dr Avinash Supe, dean of the hospital, said Samruddhi would need around four prosthetic legs and she would be ready for prosthesis within two months. In order to collect funds, the doctors are also approaching private donors.
An anonymous group from Delhi donated R1 lakh for the little girl's prosthesis and the doctors are also appealing to people for more help via social networking sites such as Facebook. They plan to secure a medical card from the State government for Samruddhi so she can get free treatment. “I have called railway activist Sameer Zaveri to meet her.
Through their interaction, she will learn how to deal with her amputation as Zaveri, too, lost both his legs after a train mishap,” said Dr Supe.
Hospital authorities plan on buying a bigger prosthetic limb which will be padded up so the patient can use it for two years instead of six months.
Coping with reality
The past week has been a tough one for the Nagte family. Samruddhi, her older sister Jahnavi (4) and their three-month-old sister lost their mother in the derailment. However, the trio is unaware of the fact. Jahnavi suffered head injuries and was undergoing treatment at the ICU of Vashi’s MGM Hospital. Her condition is stable. PK Sashankar, administrator of the privately-run hospital, said, “She was shifted to our hospital on the day of the mishap and is out of danger now. We haven’t told her anything about her mother, Surekha or her sister, Samruddhi.”
Dr Merchant said that the girls’ relatives complained to him when they were asked to foot MGM hospital’s bills. “The bills had run up to a few lakhs. We spoke to the doctors there and asked them to approach railway authorities for this.” Sashankar, however, denied this and claimed that Jahnavi was undergoing free treatment.
How to help
Anyone willing to donate for Samruddhi’s prosthetic legs can send a cheque in favour of Dean LTMG Hospital “Poor Box Charity Fund” with Samruddhi written in capitals behind the cheque.
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