Jishnu who suffers from severe haemophilia B is waiting for funds for his treatment
Jishnu C., 13, hopes to recover and continue his studies at Class 9 E at Sevamandiram Post Basic Higher Secondary School in Ramanattukara panchayat here. That is, if he gets a train ticket to Chennai on Monday and the money for his surgery and treatment at Christian Medical College, Vellore, materialises from somewhere.
Jishnu suffers from severe haemophilia B and even tiny strides are painful for him. Besides, an accidental fall seven years ago has led to an internal infection.
His parents, Anitha K. and Alagesan, are daily wage labourers. “We are not able to work everyday. Our ration card says we are above poverty line. But all we have is this house on 1.65 cents,” Anitha says, pointing to their tiny, un-plastered house at Karattipadam in Feroke panchayat.
Situated on the border of Feroke and Ramanattukara panchayats, the house got electricity connection only in 2011 under the government’s total electrification scheme. “The first thing we did was to pool money to buy a fridge to make ice. Ice packs are tied around his swollen joints. This gives him some relief from pain,” she says.
“The trip to Vellore was scheduled for Sunday. But the train ticket was not confirmed. There is no travel priority or allowance to haemophilia patients,” Pramod Aikyarapadi, Jishnu’s English teacher, who has taken an interest in Jishnu’s treatment, said.
Children from the neighbourhood and Jishnu’s classmates take turns at times to sit through the night with Jishnu when the pain gets unbearable. So far, the students and teachers at his school have pooled over Rs.1 lakh for his medicines. Local people have also pitched in with money. But that will not add up to anything. “His surgery and injections at Vellore will alone cost about Rs.10 lakh,” Sadik V.P., vice-president, Kozhikode district chapter of the Haemophilia Federation (India). Mr. Sadik says that the State government’s Karunya scheme hardly serves to help haemophilia patients. “The government allots a one-time fund of up to Rs. 2 lakh. For some patients, the funds last for six months to a year,” he said.
When asked if the local panchayat had any projects to help Jishnu — the only haemophilia patient in its limits— ward member M. Ashokan named the Ashraya scheme. “But that scheme is given only to the poorest of poor,” he said.