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Faces behind figures: In a parent’s absence

Sanjay Kumar, a taxi driver who lives in Sector 20, Chandigarh, was still coming to grips with his dwindling work when his wife Kanchan fell ill and passed away. With funds in short supply, he is now planning to get his elder daughter to drop out and fill in for Kanchan.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
June 14, 2021 1:45:22 am
Faces behind figures: Kanchan, Sunita, Khurshida Khatoon, and Poras Kumar (Express)

Mother gone, daughter has to step in

KANCHAN, 42

Leaves behind: Husband, two daughters, and a son

Passed away on May 2, 2021

Sanjay Kumar, a taxi driver who lives in Sector 20, Chandigarh, was still coming to grips with his dwindling work when his wife fell ill and passed away. With funds in short supply, he is now planning to get his elder daughter to drop out and fill in for Kanchan.

“My daughters are pursuing graduation, one from Khalsa College, Sector 26, and the other from Home Science College, while my son, 9, is in school. Since I travel frequently, Kanchan used to run the house on her own. Now my eldest daughter, who is 20, will have to drop out… Someone has to look after the house.’’

The children are still in a state of shock. The youngest turned nine on June 3 without any celebrations for the first time in his life. “Every year, she would prepare cake and snacks for him. This time there were only tears,’’ says Sanjay.

Kanchan was admitted to GMCH-32 after she complained of fever and breathlessness on April 21. She passed away after 11 days.

A young boy left motherless

SUNITA, 41

Leaves behind: Husband, a son and daughter

Passed away on May 9, 2020

It’s been a year but Samarjeet, who works as a gardener, is still struggling to go on with his life without wife Sunita.

“I go for work at 6 am and return at 6 pm, all for a meagre salary of Rs 8000. But my son, who is in Class VI, suffers. I don’t know what kind of future I am building for him, he is at the mercy of the neighbours.’’

Samarjeet has an elder daughter but she is married. “Sunita was my rock, she took care of our family. I wish his school could extend some help. I want him to be an engineer.’

Some lost their mother

KHURSHIDA KHATOON, 58

Leaves behind: Husband and 10 children

Passed away on August 1, 2020

With no mother at home, Khurshida’s house seems to be a home without a soul.

“She used to do everything—from preparing our food to managing every child’s studies. She did almost everything but today she is not with us,” says husband Rayis, who runs a small kiosk at Manimajra.

Rayis recalls how they had just gone for a routine checkup at PGI when Khurshida was detected with COVID-19.

“They decided to admit her straight away at PGI. I thought she would get well soon but little did I know that I would never see her again. Later, I got a call from an administration official asking me whether I was at home. I was still wondering what had happened when all of a sudden police and health officials descended on our home and told us that they would have to take us to institutional quarantine facility since my wife had tested positive. We all got scared but followed the administration’s directions,” Rayis recounts.

Rayis says he used to inquire about his wife on phone and told that she was undergoing tests. “I felt she was getting weaker and weaker. In fact I suggest, before doctors take out blood from the patient, they should first see if the patient actually has blood or not. Sio many tests must have weakened her further. Then one day I got a call that she is no more.”

A father lost

PORAS KUMAR, 48

Leaves behind: wife, two children- a son and a daughter

Passed away on May 1, 2021

Sanjana aimed to become a fashion designer but all her dreams seem to have shattered when the sole pillar of the house, her father passed away. It was on May 1 this year that Poras Kumar, passed away due to Covid at Government Multi speciality Hospital, Sector 16.

Poras used to mend peoples’ shoes but they were a happy family, living in Dadumajra. Sanjana who studies in a government school and in standard XII wanted to become a fashion designer but her aim seems bleak now. “Dad also wanted me to become a fashion designer. He was planning to make me pursue some course after my 12th, but he is no more now,” she said.

Sanjana’s brother, 21, who is studying in Panjab University is the only father like figure in the house now.
“Bhaiya is looking for a part time job because he also wants to study ahead. We don’t know what we have in fate for us now. Our mother is really worried,” she added.

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