A few days ago, Mumbai Mirror published a front page story that shook the conscience of every person who read it.
It was about cancer patients from Tata Memorial hospital, living under the Hindmata bridge in Mumbai due to unavailability of accommodation in the hospital and lack of money to rent a space anywhere else.
Written by Lata Mishra, the column told heart-wrenching stories of pre-surgery and post-surgery patients, who were forced to prepare for a huge operation or recover from one, amid the honking from both sides.
Which, it appeared, was the least of concerns. There were patients of oral cancer living basically on a road - dusty as ever.
There were patients lying on a chatai and hardly getting any sleep, after a potentially life-threatening operation.
Titled Go Slow: Cancer care ward under the flyover, the column also had details about the daily rent for a room/bed in dharamshaalas, which can be as less as ₹30.
However, people getting the treatment are so poor, they cannot even afford that.
This story garnered a lot of attention and people started discussing it on social media.
As a result of which, thankfully, the patients have now been shifted to dharamshaalas where they will now have an access to clean toilets and free food.
The story moved many many people including the BMC, so on Thursday the 100-odd patients were moved to two dharamshalas and scores of Mumbaikars came to donate money, food, blankets. A gurudwara offrede to take in 16 patients. @MumbaiMirror pic.twitter.com/wNf3LC4vyE— Meenal Baghel (@writemeenal) January 16, 2020
35 cancer patients and their relatives staying under the Hindmata Bridge outside Tata Memorial hospital were shifted to a shelter in Parel. 23 shelters have been temporarily opened, 4 more shelter units are to start from Feb 1st, 2020. pic.twitter.com/srz5KeiAfs— माझी Mumbai, आपली BMC (@mybmc) January 16, 2020
.@mybmc acknowledges the efforts of AMC Dr. Sangita Hasnale and her team. Going beyond their call of duty and working tirelessly, the team ensured proper rehabilitation of cancer patients and their relatives, living under the Hindmata Flyover. #AtMumbaisService pic.twitter.com/dQ5uyNUBpJ— माझी Mumbai, आपली BMC (@mybmc) January 17, 2020
In her latest report for Mumbai Mirror, Lata Mishra quotes one of the patients as saying:
Every day was a struggle for me. Exposed to dust and petrol and diesel fumes, I took ill twice. Now there is a new hope.