No help for NSG commando battling acute disorder
NEW DELHI: At a time when an indebted nation is bending over backwards to thank the commandos who battled terrorists in Mumbai, a soldier is
struggling for life in a Delhi hospital, desperate for some financial assistance.
NSG commando Manoj Routray, 28, is admitted in the ICU of Safdarjung Hospital. He suffers from `Acute Viral Meningo Encephalitis with Myelitis', a severe blood infection in which the body's immunity system is completely destroyed. After spending over Rs 10 lakh on the treatment, Manoj's family does not know how long they can carry on.
"What is the government doing for those who are fighting for the nation or protecting its politicians?" asked B K Routray, Manoj's brother.
Manoj hails from Orissa. As a Black Cat Commando, he first served in the security entourage of L K Advani and was later sent to Chennai for Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi's security.
Manoj's brother, a social worker, said Manoj was diagnosed with malaria on September 22 and was admitted to a government hospital
. Three days later, he was declared fit and was discharged. However, he collapsed the next day and doctors said his immunity system had been destroyed. On doctors' suggestions, he was taken to Apollo Hospital in Chennai which had a ventilator.
"After admitting Manoj in Apollo, we contacted senior NSG officials and asked them to bear the medical costs. However, after five days, the officials said they did not have tie-up with Apollo Chennai but NSG Welfare Fund could bear the expenses if he was brought to Apollo Delhi. As the bill had already touched Rs 5.5 lakh, we sought Karunanidhi's aid and he provided help from the CM's fund," said Shiv Sunder, another brother of Manoj.
In Delhi, Manoj's family was told there was no such tie-up and they would have to manage the money on their own. While the family somehow managed to pay Rs 7.5 lakh, they had to shift him to Safdarjung Hospital.
"Some commandos collected around Rs 1 lakh from their salaries and gave it to us but NSG failed to provide any relief. Why isn't there any system to help an ailing soldier?" asked a depressed B K Routray.
He added that although Manoj's condition has improved slightly, he is still on ventilator. "Everyday I have to buy an injection for him worth Rs 12,500. My mother has gone blind in one eye because of high BP due to this trauma. I don't know what will happen to my family. I am neck-deep in debt," he said.
Dr Hemant Raju, chief medical officer at NSG hospital, Manesar, said, "Manoj's was a hopeless case. It is not possible for any doctor to predict whether he will survive. But he has shown some signs of recovery, although his lower limbs are still paralysed and he can't breathe on his own."
On why NSG failed to assist him financially, he said that the agency welfare fund could only pay for expenses of government hospitals and not of expensive private ones.