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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Delhi: For volunteer’s family who died of Covid, concerns about clearing loans

Singh is survived by his wife and two children — a son in class IX and a daughter who cleared class XII boards on the day he passed away at Dwarka’s Venkateshwar Hospital.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi |
Updated: July 16, 2020 8:35:51 am
Coronavirus death, covid cases, Delhi covid volunteers, Delhi coronavirus cases, civil defence volunteer, Delhi news, Indian express news The 48-year old was one among the thousands of such volunteers forming the backbone of Delhi’s Covid response system.

The family of Arun Singh, a civil defence volunteer who toiled for over three months arranging food for the poor during the lockdown and died of Covid on Monday, Wednesday said they were facing financial distress owing to loans taken to meet the expenses during his hospitalisation.

Singh is survived by his wife and two children — a son in class IX and a daughter who cleared class XII boards on the day he passed away at Dwarka’s Venkateshwar Hospital.

Taking note of The Indian Express report on Singh’s death, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday tweeted: “Arun Singh ji succumbed to Covid in the course of his duty, feeding thousands of people in the last 3 months. I salute his sacrifice and offer my heartfelt condolences to his grieving family. We stand with them in their hour of need.”

Dwarka MLA Vinay Mishra tweeted that he will speak to the CM and make sure that Singh’s family gets financial assistance and a job. SDM (Dwarka) Chander Shekhar said he was in the process of putting up a file relating to compensation to Singh’s family before the government.

M L Singh, Arun’s elder brother, told The Indian Express that the hospital bill had come to over Rs 4 lakh. The 48-year-old was admitted to hospital in the early hours of July 4 after he complained of breathlessness, days after he tested positive for Covid-19.

“The private hospital we took him to is barely 2 km from our home. So we had no option. Later, we wanted to shift him to a government hospital but were told by hospital authorities that he was in a critical condition and that we will have to undertake any such move at our own risk.

“Eventually, he stayed on at the private hospital. The bill kept increasing and we took loans to meet the expenses. The final bill was over Rs 4 lakh,” M L Singh, who is privately employed, said.

“My primary concern is regarding the two children, one of whom is still in school. My niece just cleared her boards…,” Singh said.

The Delhi government has an honorary compensation scheme of Rs one crore for the family of employees who die of corona while on Covid-19 duty. “Any person including doctor, nurse, paramedical staff, security/sanitation staff, or any other government officer/official including police officer/official, whether temporary or permanent employee or contractual, in government or private sector, deployed for COVID-19 duties by Government of NCT of Delhi, if expires by contracting the disease, during discharge of his/her duty, his/her family shall be compensated with ex-gratia amount of Rs one crore, posthumously,” says a health department order dated April 19.

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