Ahmedabad / Kubernagar
When other families of Pakistan immigrants living in kubernagar went to give lunch to Narain Chawda, Who was discharged from a private Covid hospital in Naroda Patiya on Monday, his wife Lakshmi broke down, “Thank you for now, but what will I feed my children tomorrow?”
A leader of the community told her, “Maalik betho che maathe, Jene choonch didhi , e chonu bhi der.” (There is a God above. He who has given a beak, will also provide the grain).
Chawda’s family emigrated from Hyderabad in Sindh province of Pakistan to Ahmedabad in 2015. Lakshmi said, “we took debt and I sold my mangalsutra and managed. My brother-in-law and other people helped with food rations.”
Narain works as a daily wager in the garments industry and earns Rs 500-600 per day. However, the lockdown last year and the strict curfew this year severely affected the earning of the households and the most of their savings had to be spent on maintaining themselves.
About a week ago, while wondering how to pay for her husbands treatment, Lakshmi decided to sell her valuable mangalsutra. However, the 1.5 tola gold necklace got her just Rs 47,000.
When asked why chawda was admitted to the private hospital, Arjun Dafda, a leader of the Pakistani immigrant community told, “On May 6, when medical treatment was needed there were no vacant beds in Ahmedabad Civil Hospital and looking at the lines of ambulance outside it, there was no option but him to private hospital. His total bill after discharge amounted to Rs 2.5 lakh.”
Dafda said the migrant community collected Rs 10,000 to help the family. Some police officers from the police commissioner’s office deputed to cheque on the immigrant community, donated another Rs 10,000. Another Rs 3500 came from other sources. The fundraiser that Dafda set up on Milaap has not been able to generate any funds.
Asked about his bills and debts, Chawda said, “We have a debt of about 1.5 lakhs at least. This after my brother provided some financial help and looked after my family when I was away. We have paid the hospital, but once the 14-day quarantine is over, I’ll try to find some work to pay back the debtors. The Mangalsutra will have to wait.”