Two sisters who had been starving themselves for the past several months at their home in Rohini here were rescued on Saturday after a relative called up the Centralised Accident & Trauma Service whose para-medical staff rushed them to the Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital. The condition of the elder sister was stated to be critical, while the younger was “serious but stable.”
While this case bears a resemblance to an episode reported from Noida last year, the key difference was that in Sector 8 of Rohini the sisters — 40-year-old Mamata and 29-year-old Neerja — were not living alone but were residing with their 70-year-old mother Nirmala Gupta and Mamata's teenaged son Shubham.
A neighbour said it was on a distress call made by Ms. Gupta's nephew that a CATS ambulance reached her residence to take the two bed-ridden and badly malnourished women to hospital. “They were so frail that the ambulance staff was even scared of lifting them by hand for fear that their bones could snap or the skin could peel off. While Neerja was still in her senses, Mamata was unconscious and had almost been reduced to a skeleton,” said a neighbour.
At the hospital, their bodies were first sponged, wounds dressed up and clothes changed. Medical Superintendent C.M. Khanijo said: “It is definitely a case of chronic malnutrition. When the sisters were brought to hospital around noon, the elder one was serious and critical and the younger serious but stable. There were bed-sores on their back and feet. They had not taken bath since long.”
Neighbours said the condition of the sisters also had to do with the family's financial situation which had deteriorated soon after their father passed away a decade ago.