"For 2 years now, we kept believing that Avijit will get cured. God has not answered our prayers yet and cancer is draining the life out of him."
It began with fever and pain in his legs. He was around 4 years old. Naba Goutham Das thought his son had symptoms of a normal fever. He tried over the counter medication and when that did not work, they went to the doctor.
We couldn't find a doctor in the town who can save my child
Here in Raiganj, the hospitals are not well-equipped. When we consulted for Avijit, they first said it would subside with medicines. Again, when it didn’t, they said there was no treatment for Avijit available in the city, and told us to take him elsewhere. No doctor in our entire town was willing to treat him.”
Naba Goutham and his wife, Nima, had nobody to advise them at the time. On blind trust, they landed in Chennai and rushed straight to Ramachandra Hospital. For 2 months, a team of doctors prioritized Avijit’s health. They ran several tests and diagnosed him with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
“We had no idea what that even meant when we first heard. Then the doctor said ‘Cancer’. He was 4. Who can even imagine that a 4-year-old has cancer? We were in shock and denial for a while.”
After a few days, the parents relaxed. The facts that 3 years of medication and chemotherapy could cure their little boy. Naba Goutham was a cab driver. He owned a four wheeler, a small house and some farm land in the village. Over the years, he had to sell all his assets including his wife’s jewellery to pay for his son’s medical expenses.
We had no choice but to knock every door in the neighbourhood
“He is 6 now, and cancer is still killing him. Doctor had said before that he was way too young for a transplant. This cancer does not look like it is going to lose the fight anytime soon. He needs a more aggressive approach. We have nothing left to give him the treatment.”
People in the neighborhood became aware about this father’s condition when he came knocking on their doors pleading with them to help save his son. The neighborhood came together to pool funds, but it has not been enough. Right now Naba Goutham is working as a driver for hire. He makes about Rs. 6000/month. It is barely enough to get them through the month.
“I could not bear to see the man’s condition. His son is so young. We went to visit him. He has no clue what is happening. He is happy, laughs and plays. When it is time for chemotherapy, his demeanor changes completely. The man who used to live in our next apartment has now moved into the Rail Colony. Have you seen those red quarters? They are like tents and they are not a place for a sick child!” - saysLiton Saha (Neighbor)
He screams in pain. We can't bear to see him this way.
Avijit is vulnerable to infection and cannot go out of the dingy little living space. His baby cousin distracts him from the pain. When the pain gets too much, his screams bring tears to everyone’s eyes.
“I am knee deep in debt with Rs 6 L to repay. I had to borrow even when I knew I could not make that much right now. His life is at stake. Now I only have to beg. There is no other way out.
How you can help
Avijit needs aggressive treatment for the foreseeable future and it will cost nearly Rs. 5 Lakhs.
Your contribution can help save this little boy. He cannot get treatment without the funds.