The night of June 24 changed the lives of everyone in the Nandi household forever. Our family has four members - three humans and one canine. Despite many mishaps and shortcomings in our lives, the four of us have made it a motto to live life with a smile.
On that evening, after his evening walk, my father (who is 64 and has already suffered brain hemorrhage, due to an accident in 2014) went inside his room to rest. Everything was normal until he came out of the room limping and disoriented. By the time a hospital agreed to take him in without any deposit, four hours had already passed. He had a stroke which rendered the right side of his body paralyzed.
The journey from that day until now has not been smooth, but it definitely been a blessed one. On suggestions from a friend a similar crowd funding platform BITGIVING helped me raise funds for his medical expenses. Although the goal amount was not achieved the donations were enough to cover his hospital stay. Friends and well wishers also came forward to lend a helping hand.
Now I would like to fast forward time to the first week of October, my birthday week. We had crossed a big hurdle and it was time to smile and thank God for giving us the strength we needed.
Now I am fast forwarding even further to last week. I wake up with a chest heavy with sadness and worry. I walked to the nearest mobile shop and had to sell my phone as I needed to get groceries for home and medicines for my parents. Later the same day I also sold the last remaining pieces of precious metal (silver) left in the house.
When the calendar date will read 01 of next month I will have no funds for all the expenses for my parents.
I will focus on the possible questions that will be asked of me by donors and write my answers accordingly.
Why does a person of the age of 60+ does not have savings to help them through their old age?
- All of the savings my father collected from his modest salary from Tata Motors were aimed at giving me a proper education, speaking more precisely, it was aimed at making me an engineer. To make sure I got a good start, they were ready to do anything. One consultancy in our home town (Jamshedpur) took advantage of their sentiment and conned us an engineering college in Bangalore. The class 12 certificate they had issued me was fake. I was already through the third month of my first semester when it came out. I left college soon after. Not only did I have to repeat those two years of school, all the money invested with the consultancy were unaccounted for.
What happened suddenly that I require help from crowd funding?
- In the first week of Oct I was informed by my employer that I was being moved from one 'process' to another. Soon enough, new training began. That month's salary took the ground away from my feet. There were incorrect deductions and for the time period when I worked overtime were unpaid. That’s an approximate amount of 9,000-10,000/- less. I had worked extra for over 30 hours to make sure I could afford the medicines and physiotherapy sessions my father required. The next three days, I ran around arranging money for these crucial medicines. When I got back, my process was shifted again, since I had missed the training. After a day’s training, I was informed that there was no requirement for that process or any other process in the company. So I would be placed in BENCH NON PAYABLE until requirement opened up. More than half of the month was gone and I was left with no other option but to leave. This means that I do not get my next salary (which I was supposed to get on the last day of Nov) and I have no source of income until I finish a month at a new job. I have given numerous interviews and have been selected for 3 IT firms, but the joining date is only in January. All of this boils down to one cold fact; I do not have any funds for the expenses for my parents until February (that is when I will be getting my first official salary from the next employer).
Do we not have family members who can help us?
- Both my maternal and paternal family members have never been keen on having a smooth relationship with us. Some are occupied with problems of their own lives, others simply choose to ignore the situation we are in and hurl harsh words at us.
What do I intend to spend the donations for?
- My father is out of the hospital and definitely out of danger, but he requires thorough check ups which includes MRIs and blood tests apart from the consultation from a neurologist. Since his discharge in July, I have not been able to take my father for a single medical checkup all these months as getting the required medicines and household expenses were a priority. Apart from medicines my father’s doctor has strictly prescribed physiotherapy which at this point will only be possible if we can get a professional at home.
- Before his discharge I purchased a refrigerator and a washing machine through Bajaj Finserve. The refrigerator is to store my father's insulin, which is a major medicine to keep his blood sugar level under control. The washing machine is to wash bed sheets, clothes etc. to prevent infection as most of the time his bodily discharge happens on the bed. Since I have not been receiving my full salary, the EMI process for the appliances are jeopardized and if not paid soon I risk the appliances being taken back by the store, making recovery of my money or appliance almost impossible.
- The funds will also be utilized to get food supplies for the house, which will get over in the next 10 odd days.
- Last but not the least, I need money for rent to keep roof on my parent’s heads.
It has been the most difficult last few days for me. I have done everything that I could do to fix all the issues but I have hit a dead end. I am not sure if any company can legally do what my ex-employer has done to me, and their negligent act has rendered a dependent family helpless. I have realized the magic of giving when I witnessed so many well wishers contribute when Baba was in hospital.
Getting him back would have been impossible without all those helpful souls. This effort to speak up and seek help is towards keeping my aged parents lives as normal as possible, without shortage of funds for medicine, checkups, food etc.
I stand on humble ground, on a strong pedestal of faith. Please help me get through this unprecedented storm. No amount will be too small to contribute; no prayer will be too short to wish for a miracle.