After six years of living a troubled life on the top storey of an EWS rehabilitation colony in Sector 38 (West), a physically challenged couple have finally been allotted a ground-floor flat in the colony by the Chandigarh Housing Board.
Kamlesh, 40, who is paraplegic with 80 per cent disability, had been living with her husband Naresh Kumar, who is also physically challenged, and their son and daughter-in-law on the third floor of the colony since 2009. The allotment of top-floor flat was made to him as a part of random allotments to those eligible under a rehabilitation scheme.
Adding to their woes was the fact that they faced frequent medical emergencies as Kamlesh somehow got a needle embedded in her stomach several years ago. The family has now found much-needed relief after shifting to a ground-floor flat in the same colony.
“The one-room flat on the top floor was like a prison for her as she could never come downstairs, except when she had excruciating pain in her stomach. During such times, she was lifted and carried downstairs by several persons which aggravated her pain. It was a tough time for the entire family,” said Naresh, a small-time vendor.
He added, “Now, we will buy her a wheelchair and start taking her out of the house. She can finally start seeing the world again.”
Their case was highlighted in Newsline in August last year, following which their application for transfer of flat was accepted by CHB officials. However, completion of various formalities took a lot of time.
“We then met chief accounts officer A K Juneja who ensured that the process was expedited and there was no further harassment. We were being allotted a flat at Dhanas but we requested the officials to let us stay here as we have a support system in this colony,” said Naresh.
Until last year, Naresh had been running from pillar to post to seek transfer of residence, but to no avail. “This was despite the fact that we were assured of a ground-floor flat during our rehabilitation,” said Kamlesh.
Naresh said that he would now be able to resume his work as a vendor. “In a few days, we will get electricity connection in the flat, and then I will start selling a few items to make a living. It is also easier for us to take my wife to the hospital now. My only priority is to get the needle in her body removed surgically, for which I am trying to arrange money,” he said.
Meanwhile, a CHB official requesting anonymity said, “People with disabilities who live on upper floors in EWS colonies can apply for ground-floor flats, following which their requests are considered on merit. We are receiving similar requests from the colony in Dhanas and several people have been allowed a transfer.”