Mumbai: TB hospital performs 10-year-old's last rites after dad disowns boy
Following his death in February, the body was kept in the mortuary for three months
Tired of being ill-treated by his father, when 10-year-old Sachin (name changed) left home four years back, he didn't know that fate had something worse in store for him. In July 2017, cops found him near a masjid in Bandra East and took him to a BMC-run hospital, where he was diagnosed with TB. Thereafter, he was shifted to the TB Hospital in Sewri. After he passed away in February this year, his father refused to take possession of his body. When several attempts to convince him failed, the hospital authorities kept the body in the mortuary for three months and finally performed his last rites on Sunday.
Sachin, who was a resident of Nalasopara, lost his mother six years back. His father has been suffering from both TB and HIV since the past four years. "We don't know exactly when, but Sachin left his home when he realised that his father wouldn't look after him. He started living on the footpath," said a doctor from Sewri TB Hospital. "In July 2017, the railway police spotted him in Bandra East and took him to VN Desai Hospital in Santacruz. Following a couple of tests, he was diagnosed with TB and shifted to the Sewri TB Hospital," he added.
After undergoing treatment for a couple of months, when the police took him to trace his family with help from an NGO, he managed to escape and became untraceable. "In September the same year he met with a train accident and fractured his hand, following which he was shifted to KEM Hospital in Lower Parel. When the doctors got to know that he was suffering from TB, they sent him back to the TB Hospital in October. But again he fled from the hospital in January 2018," the doctor added. Speaking on condition of anonymity, another doctor said, "Within a month of being brought back to the hospital, he died. The Bhoiwada cops traced his father, but he refused to take possession of the body. Hence, it was kept in the mortuary."
Speaking to mid-day, Dr Lalit Anande, superintendent of TB Hospital, said, "When I took charge last month, I got to know that a boy's body was lying in the mortuary for the past three months. When I contacted the cops about a possible solution to this situation, they got a no-objection certificate from his father, which mentioned that the hospital could perform the child's last rites as an unclaimed body. That is when we decided to go ahead with it."
No. of years back he left home to live on the footpath
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