Mumbai: With no surgeon, baby Eliza's parents extract her cerebrospinal fluids themselves
They have been unable to find a neurosurgeon in the vicinity where they live in Nagpur; her father, who exposed corruption, still not being paid; company wants him to withdraw allegations
With every passing day, the cerebrospinal fluid continues to accumulate and compress seven-month-old Eliza Waghmare's brain, and the size of her head increases, deteriorating her health further.
Unable to find a good neurosurgeon in the vicinity where they live in Nagpur, the worried parents, Anand, 42, and Jayanti, 31, have now started removing the cerebrospinal fluid themselves at home.
mid-day did a series of stories, the first being, 'Premature baby needs surgery, but dad denied salary,' on October 29, 2018, highlighting the plight of Eliza and her father, an Air India engineer, who exposed corruption and hasn't been paid since April 2018.
According to Anand, "Soon after we came to Nagpur, where I had to resume duty at Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL), I took Eliza to the government hospital to extract the cerebrospinal fluid. But the staff at the hospital started extracting blood along with the fluid. We could not take it anymore and went to a private hospital, but could not meet the neurosurgeon on two occasions."
"Eliza was doing well when she was in Mumbai under the care of Dr Shashank Joshi at Cooper Hospital. Even her head size had reduced, but today she is not well," added Anand.
Not paid salary
On the work front, Anand has not been paid his salary even after he resumed duty at AIESL, Nagpur in December, and instead received a salary slip in January 2019, with negative balance. The slip showed he owed money to the company. When he sought clarification, he didn't get a reply to his emails from the personnel department.
Anand said, "For the past year, I have put all my savings and financial aid received from good Samaritans post mid-day's stories, into Eliza's treatment. Doctors in Mumbai had informed us about the chances of her becoming partially blind, and today we can sense the same."
Anand's lawyer Rameshwar Panchal and Senior Counsel S K Talsania, who represented AIESL, discussed in length a settlement possibility before Justices B R Gavai and N J Jamadar, the division bench of Bombay High Court. Panchal had informed Anand that the court passed an order asking him to give an undertaking regarding withdrawal of existing complaints / allegations etc. The matter will be heard next Monday. He said, "The AIESL management, through their counsel, told the court that they would a) keep transfer order in abeyance, b) withdraw the chargesheet (disciplinary inquiry) against Anand and c) treat the period of absence as leave without pay so as to maintain continuity of service."
But Anand in his response is firm about not agreeing to such a settlement. He said, "I have only reported the wrong happenings in AIESL, in the larger interest of society and as a loyal employee, so that our loss making aviation company does not bleed further. A settlement of this sort means tomorrow the management can label me fake, and might also impact my credentials as a whistle blower. If I have done wrong, the management should bring it to my notice and I will apologise." According to Anand, since December 2018, he has not been given work. "I will have to take my family to my village. My wife and I will take tuitions or I will take up legal practice, as I am a law graduate," he said.
The other side
A senior AIESL management official said, "We, as an organisation, are concerned about the happenings in Anand Waghmare's life. Therefore we have directed the personnel department to transfer him to Mumbai at least for a year due to his family problems. After a year, he may be transferred back to Nagpur, where we have a requirement and provided he withdraws his complaints." The official further said, "We are not running a vindictive campaign against Anand. Everyone has to adhere to the company's behavioural policy and rules."
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