Over a month after Kanti Devi and Jagdish Sharma lost their nine-year-old daughter Sandhya, who had been suffering from a brain tumour, a district official turned up at their doorstep and informed them that Rs 50,000 has been sanctioned from the CM’s discretionary fund for her treatment.
The grief-stricken couple — who live in a rented room in Bareilly’s Nawabganj area — didn’t know what to say. “I told him that my daughter died on June 3. Sandhya lost her life due to lack of treatment. Had the state government provided financial help on time, she would have been with us now,” said Kanti Devi.
When doctors told them that they would have to raise Rs 1 lakh for Sandhya’s surgery, Jagdish and Kanti Devi had sent an application seeking the amount to the government through the district administration in May. “I contacted officials of the Bareilly district administration and filed an application seeking financial help of Rs 1 lakh for her treatment. After filing the application, I regularly visited the district administration office to follow up,” said Kanti Devi.
Ashutosh Soti, public relations officer of Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI), Lucknow, where Sandhya was taken, said that as per records, Rs 50,000 had been transferred to the hospital on June 10, a week after her death.
In her last days, her daughter was almost unable to stand, said Kanti Devi, who has two other children, Krishna (6) and Pari (2). It all started when Sandhya — a Class V student in Saraswati Shishu Mandir — had an accident while returning home from school, sustaining injuries on both legs. “Two months later, she started regularly complaining of headaches and a month later, started losing her vision. We contacted several doctors in Bareilly and Pilibhit, but there was no relief. Several tests including an MRI were done on her. Later, she started complaining of having trouble standing,” said Kanti Devi.
In April, Kanti Devi contacted doctors at the community health centre in Nawabganj, who advised her to approach the neuro surgery department of a specialised hospital. Soon after, they took her to SGPGI. On April 24, they were told about the Rs 1 lakh surgery. “We had told the doctor that we have already spent Rs 80,000 so far on her treatment and had no money left. We were told to arrange the funds and then come for surgery. My husband then met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow.” Jagdish works as a labourer in New Delhi.
According to records, the Bareilly district administration received a letter from the state government on July 6, which said that Rs Rs 50,000 had been approved from the CM’s discretionary fund for Sandhya’s treatment.
Alok Kumar, additional district magistrate, Bareilly, said, “A report will be sent to the state government after inquiry.”