Mumbai: Bhatia Hospital gives farmer new life after a free hip replacement

Updated: Apr 06, 2019, 18:51 IST | midday online correspondent

Dhananjay Shinde who had come to Mumbai to commit suicide left the city a hopeful man after Bhatia hospital successfully performed a hip-replacement operation

Mumbai: Bhatia Hospital gives farmer new life after a free hip replacement
Dhananjay Shinde with his family post his hip replacement surgery at Bhatia Hospital

Bhatia Hospital, one of Mumbai's oldest charitable health institutions, recently gave a new lease of life to a debt-ridden farmer, who had come to Mumbai to commit suicide. The hospital performed a hip-replacement operation on the farmer last week completely free of cost.

Dhananjay Shinde, 41, had come to Mumbai to commit suicide at Mantralaya in February. Instead, he left the city on Wednesday with a new hip and immense hope. It was a mere stroke of luck that landed Shinde in Bhatia Hospital that is known for its philanthropy. On February 18, Shinde had attempted to drink poison in front of Mantralaya because he couldn't collect enough money needed for a hip-replacement operation for himself.

The police posted around saw him and stopped him. When Shinde told them the reason for his act, they passed on the message to the chief minister's office. The CM's office then contacted Bhatia Hospital. The hospital has been actively involved in social outreach programmes and believes in giving back to the society and those in need.

Dhananjay ShindeDhananjay Shinde after his hip replacement operation

Shinde, a father of two, hails from a village called Utkad in Parbhani district, which is facing a severe drought situation. Because of the pain in his hips, Shinde has restricted movement over the past few years. He has met several doctors in Mumbai and Pune but he was told that a hip replacement would cost between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh as it is not covered under any government insurance scheme.

Shinde's father had already taken a Rs 3-lakh loan from a money lender. Drought affected the family badly. Their farm was mortgaged five years ago and they have a total debt of Rs 8 lakh.

But in January this year, his father passed away after a heart attack, which left Shinde devastated. He said his father's death shook him. Suddenly, the whole responsibility of the family was on him. Due to his ailment, he couldn't work which pushed him into depression.

Tired and frustrated with the system and his life, Shinde thought that suicide was the only way out. So, on February 18, he came to Mumbai and reached Mantralaya.

There, just as he was about to drink poison, the policemen stopped him and snatched the bottle from his hand. He was then taken to the police station. When he narrated his situation and financial and physical troubles, they counselled him and promised to try for help from the chief minister's office. They informed the chief of the CM's Medical Assistance Cell (CMMAC), Omprakash Shete, who in turn brought Shinde's case to the attention of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

When the chief minister came to know about Shinde's condition and the fact that he was so disturbed that he wanted to end his life, he immediately asked to help in every possible way with the best doctors and best hospitals. Since many private charitable hospitals have beds reserved for poor patients, Shete spoke to Bhatia Hospital, who immediately agreed to operate upon Shinde free of cost and provide all the help required.

Speaking about how the hospital helped Shinde, Dr. Rajeev Boudhankar, CEO of Bhatia Hospital, said, "We had a request from the CM's office to extend help to Dhananjay Shinde. He was in severe pain in the hip joint and was unable to work due to it. His debt and physical pain were both rising. We decided to operate on him as a social commitment. He was operated on March 27 for Total Hip Replacement, which was the only way out to make him productive once again as a farmer.

Unfortunately, when the CM's office contacted Bhatia Hospital, all the beds reserved for the charitable cause were booked and there was no bed empty to accommodate Shinde. However, the management at Bhatia Hospital ensured that despite this, the patient was immediately provided a bed and all the due facilities that he required.

On March 27, Shinde underwent the operation at the hospital. On Wednesday, Shinde walked out of the hospital as a new man. He was exuberant that he had actually come to Mumbai to end his life, but was leaving with a new life.

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