Homeless and hungry woman rescued from open field in Bengaluru

Hungry, homeless and abandoned: the human cost of the COVID-19 outbreak can be seen in the many stories emerging as its fallout. A 30-year-old woman, who was found lying semi-conscious at an open field in Munnekolala, East Bengaluru, was rescued by members of a city-based NGO on Sunday.

The victim, Nasreen, was abandoned by her husband Nayeemul Alamin as he was unable to take care of her, according to Kaleemullah from Swaraj Abhiyan, who, along with his team, rescued her.

The couple, from West Bengal, had settled down in Thubarahalli camp a few years ago. While Mr. Alamin worked as a construction labourer, Ms. Nasreen worked as a maid at an apartment. But during the lockdown, the couple lost their jobs and suffered without money or food. A few days ago, Ms. Nasreen fell ill and grew anaemic without proper nourishment and medicine, the volunteers said.

Frightened, Mr. Alamin, who had no money for treatment, took Ms. Nasreen on his bicycle on the pretext of going to a hospital, but dumped her in the open field and fled. A few locals, growing suspicious, took a picture of him leaving. Later, some of them noticed Ms. Nasreen lying abandoned for many days and alerted Mr. Kaleemullah, who was helping migrant labourers during the lockdown.

Ms. Nasreen subsequently told the people that she had not had food for four days. When the rescue team tried to feed her, she started throwing up. She was then taken to Bowring Hospital, where she was admitted at the COVID-19 centre for further treatment.

There are over 5,000 people from West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Odisha, and North Karnataka living in the colonies of Munnekolala and Thubarahalli. They work as maids and construction labourers in the adjacent areas. As the lockdown was announced, most of them lost work and many left the camps, while others hoped that things would get better. But many are yet to find work again, with apartment associations not allowing them in as part of COVID-19 preventive measures.

“We are doing whatever is possible from our side to help them, but that is not enough,” said Zia Nomani, who was part of the rescue team. The team, with the help of locals, are now on the lookout for Mr. Alamin, who is absconding. “We want to trace him to help him and reunite him with his wife after treatment,” Mr. Kaleemullah said.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 11:54:26 AM |

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