K. Prasad (38), a bearer in a non-descript hotel at Nagamalai Pudukottai here, serves food to scores of people every day. But he is helpless, unaided and incapable when it comes to providing nourishing meals to his four-year-old daughter P. Sivatharini battling nothing less than blood cancer.

The cute little girl was taken to the Government Rajaji Hospital here in March this year as she was down with fever for two days. After a peripheral blood smear test, doctors recommended bone marrow aspiration to rule out leukaemia. Unfortunately, the examination did not rule out but confirmed the disorder.

The news came as a blow to the parents. They were shattered, yet managed to cope with the adversity in the interest of the child who underwent chemotherapy. The treatment had its own side effects and the beautiful girl lost her hair. She began puking blood and also suffered bruises on her head without receiving any blow or falling down.

Immediately, the therapy was suspended for a few months. It has been revived now and the girl is being administered oral drugs. The parents have been advised to provide her the right amount of calories to maintain a good weight and enough protein to keep up her strength during the course of medication.

Ironically, the family is not in a position to provide such wholesome food. “We are already living hand to mouth. I also have an 11-year-old son studying in a Corporation school. I don’t know how to keep this girl healthy,” says her mother P. Shanthi (29) with tears rolling down her cheeks faster than words from her mouth.

S. Syed Ahmed of Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy, a non-governmental organisation here, says many such impoverished children struggling from deadly health disorders were in need of nourishment. “The Government provides healthcare free of cost. The same way, a corpus should be created for feeding them too.”

More In: Madurai