Not just treatment, Tata gives them food and a roof over their heads

Updated: Apr 20, 2020, 07:35 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

The Tata Memorial Hospital at Parel finds accomodation and makes arrangements for food for around 200 patients, most from outside the city, and their relatives; also sends few back home

Jalgaon resident Bhavna Patil with her 10-month-old-son Hitesh, a cancer patient, waits for a bus on the foothpath outside the TMH to be taken to an accomodation. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Jalgaon resident Bhavna Patil with her 10-month-old-son Hitesh, a cancer patient, waits for a bus on the foothpath outside the TMH to be taken to an accomodation. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Besides fighting cancer, patients being treated at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel, especially those from outside the city, also fight a daily battle for a place to stay and eat. Until recently, many of them were staying under the Hindmata Flyover and on footpaths nearby. The hospital management, however, found accommodation for them and around 200 people including patients and their relatives were shifted earlier this month.

Moved from the streets
Syed Humayun Jafri, senior public relations officer, Tata Memorial Hospital said that around 60 patients who were still being treated or had recently completed their treatment, were living on the footpaths near the hospital and under the flyover. "There were 18 patients and their relatives (around 50 people) who were shifted to Zaid International Hotel in Marol, and we have made arrangements for food for them as well. These are patients requiring treatment and we have organised a BEST bus for them to ferry them to the hospital and back," he said.

Jafri added that while some of the patients are from rural Maharashtra, others are from Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Since they are unable to return to their homes due to the lockdown, Jafri said that similar arrangements have been made for these remaining 40-odd patients and their family members. "Around 10 patients have been kept at Sarvodaya Hospital in Ghatkopar and a bus brings them to the hospital for treatment. With the help of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), others have been shifted to Ahuja Hall in Dadar and Uttar Bhartiya Sangh Hall in Bandra East.

'Arrangements are good'
A 42-year-old resident of Malda, who is a migrant worker from Bhiwandi, brought his son to Mumbai when he was diagnosed with cancer. But soon he ran out of money. He started living under the flyover in Parel so that he could be close to the hospital. The TMH administration shifted him to Zaid International Hotel around 10 days ago. He and his 13-year-old son share a room with another patient. "The arrangements the hospital made for us are very good. We get food here as well. But I wish I had some money so that I could buy extra food for my son," he said.

Some sent back home
Dr C S Pramesh, director of TMH, said that patients who have completed their treatment have been kept at the Shraddha Foundation in Kharghar and the hospital sent a few people back home as well. "We helped around 8-10 people return to their homes including patients who live in rural Maharashtra and Bihar. We organised cars for them. Those who could afford it, paid for the trip and we used our charitable funds to support those who couldn't," he said. He added that depending on the urgency of the situation and condition of the patients, the hospital is planning to help others as well.

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