On 22nd February, sisters Sewli and Shelly rushed a barely alive 9-year-old Hasem Ali to the best nursing home they could find in Goalpara. They knew that the boy had nobody to fight for him, and took it upon themselves to save his life, and give him a future he much deserves. This is their story.
Hasem lost his mother on 12th February to a mystery illness. She was the responsible parent, who worked as a housemaid to support the family. His father, Kader, a rickshaw-wala suffers from a mental illness. He and Hasem's cousin rushed to the spot after the accident. She drew him onto her lap, and swept his mangled leg towards his body so nobody steps on him. Kader kept wailing. Bystanders kept watching, clicking photos, videos and walked. The family thought he was dead.
“Nobody even checked if he was alive. Nobody was stopping any vehicle. People kept staring and passing by. I asked her to see if he was breathing. He was. There was a painter. He threw Hasem’s cycle in the middle of the road hoping that will stop someone. We finally managed to stop a vehicle and rushed him to the best hospital in town. You have to understand, this is a small town and even the best hospital is not equipped to deal with a trauma like this.” – Sewli aka Showeb-ara-Shaheed Mazumdar, Supervisor at Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, ICDS, Goalpara, Assam
The truck driver and owner are missing. They did not have insurance and evaded arrest. Once he realized that his son was alive, Hasem's father left the hospital and never returned. He did not even have a rupee in his pocket, and was burdened by the responsibility of caring for his crippled son. Shelly and Sewli paid admission fees and began raising funds in the neighborhood so they could start Hasem’s treatment. Sewli’s experience in the system, equipped her to liaise with doctors and get Hasem the care he needs.
“His leg was in such a bad state and infected. They had to amputate immediately. He could not be given anesthesia since he had eaten just before the accident. They numbed him waist down, and performed the surgery. He also has a head injury, and we may have to amputate a few fingers on his right hand. We explained the situation to everyone. The doctor did not charge any consultation fee, the medical shop has been giving medicines at a subsidized rate. Our neighbors are taking turns to stay by his side.” – Shelly
This fight is far from over for Hasem, and a whole family is fighting for him to survive
Although they managed to raise a few thousand to start treatment, Sewli realized it was not enough. She called her cousin, Abu, a software engineer in Guwahati and requested for help. Along with his friends, Abu started a crowdfunding campaign to save Hasem.
“Owing to the town, and facilities, basic care has been given. Hasem has an infection and it is spreading. If it affects his kidneys, then it is only a matter of time before the other organs start failing. The doctors have said he needs specialized care, available in Bangalore, Delhi or Chennai. The father does not really care. Whatever family Hasem has left, cannot help him. We are ready to take him, stay with him, and get him through this, but we cannot afford the expense. Already, the hospital bills have been piling up. That’s why Abu started this campaign.” – Shelly
Be a part of their effort to save Hasem
Hasem is in severe pain. He is on a high dose of painkillers and antibiotics. A small town hospital was able to keep him alive, but they cannot save him for long or fix him up to live a decent life. Sewli, Shelly and Abu tell Hasem that he is not alone. He is terrified, missing his mother’s embrace but finds comfort in his teacher and her sister. The neighbourhood visits him at the hospital every day. They are praying for his recovery.
Abu, Shelly and Sewli will see this through until Hasem gets an artificial leg and goes back to normal school life. All they need is a little help from you.