They have been struggling for months now - for space, food and most of all, his treatmentCrammed in a small home, Khalik and Faiz have now been living in Mumbai for nearly 8 months now. Every day and every meal are a struggle for them. Khalik does any work he gets through word of mouth – whether it’s painting or construction, he does anything that will give him a few hundreds in his pocket. But none of this is enough to afford his son's bone marrow transplant that will save him from severe aplastic anaemia, a disease in which the body stops producing enough new blood cells.
Faiz with his parents and younger brother
“I can hardly go for work for 3 days a week, because I have to take Faiz to the hospital to get him blood or for some other tests. Every time he feels weak or falls sick, I have to rush him to the hospital. But if I don’t work even a little, I won’t be able to afford his medicines. Last month I called my wife, Shama, to come to Mumbai with our youngest son because I couldn’t do it all on my own."
But when he’s struggling to afford even a single meal for his family, how can Khalik afford the transplant that costs 12 lakhs?
Faiz hardly has any energy left – he needs the transplant in timeFaiz is extremely perceptive. He knows he’s unwell and sees how much his parents are struggling to get him treated. He also knows he can’t go back to school anytime soon, so, he never asks. When they have to stay in the hospital the whole day, he sometimes spends time in the playing room on the toy bike. But on most days, Faiz doesn’t even have the energy to sit up.
“He loves to draw. He would bring home beautiful paintings of flowers and trees from school, but here I can’t afford to buy him colours or a book. We will get our old Faiz back only with the transplant."