New Delhi: 28-year-old Raju, a labourer from Uttar Pradesh, has moved into his new home - a one-room apartment in South Delhi's Adchini area. Thanks to donors on NDTV.com, they have received over 18 lakh rupees - money that will go towards their food and medicines, and allowing them to live with dignity.
A week ago NDTV reported on Raju and his two sons had for the past three years spent their nights on the pavement outside a public bathroom opposite the AIIMS hospital in Delhi. All three have retinoblastoma, a rare type of eye cancer. Raju has lost one eye to cancer. So has 6-year-old Nitin. Harsh, who is just three, has been affected in one eye, which may have to be removed. The children are going through chemotherapy. (Watch Raju's story here)
On nights when the temperature dipped below two degrees, they slept on the pavement, unable to afford the price of admission to a state-run shelter nearby. Raju had borrowed a lakh three years ago when Nitin, his elder son, was diagnosed with cancer. The loan was taken from a money-lender. The interest is spiraling. Every few weeks, Raju returned home to borrow a little more. Now, Raju will be able to pay back his loan thanks to donors. Their treatment is expected to go on for another two years.
A smiling Raju thanked his benefactors and said, "I am very happy. People helped me and my sons a lot. I thank all those who donated for us."
Two weeks ago, we also reported on 12-year-old Chandan, another cancer patient, who was sleeping with his father outside AIIMS. Generous donors helped raise 10.29 lakhs for him. Now, he can recover in a small hotel room from his sessions of chemotherapy. "Thank you," said Chandan on camera for the kindness of strangers. (Watch Chandan's story here)