Poverty-stricken parents seeks funds to save their | Milaap
Poverty-stricken parents seeks funds to save their 8-year-old's life
  • AK

    Created by

    Anjani Kumar
  • SD

    This fundraiser will benefit

    Sibam Das

    from Burdwan, West Bengal


An eight-year-old boy from Burdwan, West Bengal, identified as Sibam Das, suffers from hydrocephalus since birth, and his parents have now run out of funds to seek treatment for him. Moreover, with the doctors diagnosing his ailment as terminal, the parents are shaken and seek monetary aid from the community to save their son.

Hydrocephalus is a medical condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) builds up within the ventricles or fluid-containing cavities of the brain. Generally, this fluid cushions the brain but too much of it puts harmful pressure on it. Moreover, the disease can be congenital or present at birth, like in Sibam's case.

Sibam's family has seen him suffer throughout his life. On some days, his brain doesn't function properly, he can't stand properly himself, let alone walk. They have witnessed their little one losing his childhood with every passing second and fear that if their luck doesn't shine soon enough, they might lose Sibam.

Sibam was hospitalized as soon as he was born in 2013, following which the hospital was his home for the first one-and-a-half months after which the doctors informed his parents that he was suffering from hydrocephalus. Moreover, they classified his ailment as terminal and asked his family to get an operation done urgently, failing which they might lose their son.

Life threw another curveball at the Das' when the doctors next informed them that their institution did not specialize in such kind of surgery and referred Sibam to either Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital (famously known as Presidency General or PG Hospital), Kolkata, or Bangalore. They also gave Sibam a maximum of four months to survive. However, high on luck, he has managed to survive eight years.

Desperate to seek treatment for their ailing son and save his life, the family started going door-to-door to collect donations apart from pooling in their collective income from their livelihood activities. They also sought help via media, with reporters covering Sibam's story for fundraising. However, they could only collect up to Rs 30,000 (USD 399).

It was then that Subhajit Talukdar entered their lives. His arrival was nothing short of a miracle for the Das' as he helped them reach several hospitals and government offices. He wrote letters seeking treatment on their behalf, and it was only because of Subhajit that they could reach the Chief Minister of the State, Mamata Banerjee.

After coming to know about Sibam's condition, Mamata Banerjee directed the Burdwan District Hospital to send an ambulance for Sibam, which would take him to the PG Hospital for his government-funded operation. However, Das' hope for their child's recovery shattered when the medical experts broke the news to them that there was already too much fluid in Sibam's brain and that he had more chances of slipping into a coma rather than surviving the operation.

However, determined, Sibam's parents did not give up. They continued seeking and collecting funds from the community, following which they took him to Sai Baba Hospital, Bangalore. But, low on luck, the day they went in for the operation, the medical institution was closed due to a national holiday. However, Sibam further got referred to three other hospitals which had the expertise to treat him- Victoria Hospital, Indira Gandhi Hospital, and National Institute Of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS).

Placing all the funds they had on the line, the family took Sibam from one hospital to the other, but the medical institutions denied treatment to them, given their financial inability. Following this, Sibam's family went back to Burdwan, disheartened and low on hope.

However, his father, Rajesh Das, did not entirely give up. Apart from selling small items on his cycle, he began trying his luck on lottery tickets, hoping to win enough money to keep hydrocephalus from stealing his son from him. On the other hand, Sibam's mother does daily chores at other people's houses, earning up to Rs 3.5 thousand (USD 46.60) per month. However, their collective income falls short when it comes to the amount required for young Sibam's treatment i.e. up to Rs 2.5 lakh (USD 3,328.23).

Burdened with their financial predicament, the family is now on the verge of giving up. They have left everything to fate and await a good samaritan that would help them in helping their child. They express their inability to keep everyone in the family fed, let alone pay Sibam's medical bills. With her growing family and falling income, they seek financial aid from society, urging people to support Sibam during these testing times.

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