“For me, because I did not study, I had no choice. After my father’s demise, I took over his job at the sweet shop. But I want it to be different for my child. I want to give him education, and see him live a better life than I ever did. But my wife and I aren’t lucky with children. They never stay…” - Pintu, father.
There’s a house in Ballabgarh with nothing more than a room. Right outside the house, there’s an open area with stove and vessels, to compensate for the lack of kitchen inside. Not very far from it, there’s a latrine and an open area with a hose, which makes for a bathroom. The only room inside serves as a bedroom, a hall, and on days when it’s raining, a kitchen too. Pintu, a halwai (confectioner) and his wife Rakhi were living there all by themselves year after year, yearning for a baby. Two weeks ago, just when they thought their dream would finally come true, life mocked them, again…
Many years ago, they had a girl child, who they lost even before they could take her home
“ Years ago, we had our daughter. We were so happy. But she died before we could even take her home. If she’d been born in a different household, she wouldn’t have left the world so soon… See our new-born now. It’s the same pattern… I’m afraid it won’t ever change” – Pintu, father.
After years, they were blessed with a boy last week…. But he too, is fighting for life
When she was told she was going to be a mother, Rakhi took utmost care of her health. Pintu spent every rupee he earned to ensure she was in good health. The scans were always good news and the delivery was normal. She had given birth to a boy. But minutes after the delivery, the baby didn't cry. Instead, he started bleeding from his nose and mouth.
“When he did not cry, we thought that was it. History had repeated itself. But then, he started bleeding and there was movement. He was critically ill, but at least he was alive. We begged the doctors to save him; couldn’t afford to lose him too. He was struggling to breathe and they got him admitted in the NICU immediately. He’s been on ventilator support for over a week now. I haven't seen him in 9 days, I am too weak to travel. I just wish I get to keep my baby at least this time…” – Rakhi, mother.
Diagnosed with a brain disease amongst other complications, the baby can’t survive without ventilatorRight after birth, the baby has suffered a respiratory arrest and has been diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). He also has kidney problems, intestinal hemorrhage and neonatal seizures among other things. His condition is critical and is required to stay in the NICU with respiratory support, for 4 more weeks. Without that, the baby has no chances of survival. The estimated cost of the treatment is 8 lakh rupees and the parents are helpless.
Despite borrowing his next month’s salary in advance, Pintu couldn’t afford even a day’s stay at the NICUPintu has been working in a sweet shop for 8 years now. He earns Rs. 12,000 at most, when he works all 7 days a week. He had saved up enough to be able to afford the delivery. But what followed, he hadn’t planned for. Of the 40,000 Rs charged on the 1st day of his son’s treatment, Pintu has only been able to afford 20,000. It’s been a week now, and he has no hopes of ever being able to pay the rest for the first day, let alone the whole week.
“Everybody I know asks me to sell the house. How do I explain it to them that if I do, we’ll be left to live on the footpath for the rest of our lives? With all the debts I’ll be left with after this treatment, there’s no way I can even afford to rent a house for years. If I sell the house and get the baby treated, where will I take him when he recovers? I’ve thought this through, and often more than not, I get nightmares – us roaming on the streets with our baby, looking for a place to spend the night. I am very afraid. Nobody understands!” - Pintu
These parents have been yearning to hold a child in their arms for years, only to be repeatedly mocked by Life. With your generous contribution, they can take their baby home, this time.