Lawyer provides succour to professor Saibaba in Nagpur jail

Aakash Sarode

Aakash Sarode  

For the past three and a half years, a 30-year-old advocate from Nagpur has been providing medicines and other essentials for free to former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba, who is wheelchair-bound and serving a life sentence at Nagpur Central Jail for his alleged Maoist links.

Aakash Sarode has been looking after the needs of Mr. Saibaba since his conviction on March 7, 2017. Mr. Sarode said he used to travel 12 km on his bike and visit Mr. Saibaba every Saturday, but since the lockdown, he has been able to see him only four times.

He said, “It was easier to hand over a parcel before the COVID-19-induced lockdown. I would give it directly to Sai[baba] during our mulaqat [meeting] hours. Now, I have to drop the parcel at the main gate, where two or three guards inspect it. But I have never faced any trouble from the doctors or guards in prison.”

Mr. Sarode spends around ₹2,000 every month to buy medicines for Mr. Saibaba, whose health conditions include blood pressure, hypertension, inflammatory bowel disease, stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, bronchitis and asthma. Mr. Sarode said the professor needs medicines such as Metolar XR 50 CAP, Lipvas 10 TAB, Olox 200 TAB, Rabesec 20 TAB, Montek 10 TAB, and Azipro 500. Apart from medicines, the lawyer also supplies Mr. Saibaba with multi-vitamins, shampoo, oil, toothpaste, stapler, writing pads, and pens.

Mr. Sarode has also been providing medicines, clothes, sanitary napkins, undergarments and slippers to Ranjita, a 37-year-old undertrial, who has been charged along with Mr. Saibaba under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Mr. Sarode said, “She is from Gadchiroli and it is difficult for her family members to travel to Nagpur and visit her. That’s why I try to bring her whatever she needs.”

He said Ms. Ranjitha slipped while taking a bath in prison one and a half years ago and her ankle became swollen, causing her a lot of pain. He said the doctors in prison were not very qualified and they gave her painkillers, but the swelling did not go away.

“When she explained her plight to me, I brought her Volini and a crepe bandage, which really helped ease her pain,” he said.

Asked why he was going out of his way to help the prisoners, Mr. Sarode said, “It is just out of humanity. My father also has polio and his right side is paralysed. I know how difficult it is for him to move about without anyone’s help. I try to help in whichever way I can.”

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 9:40:08 AM |

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