Patients Outside AIIMS Suffer In Delhi's Coldest December Since 1901

Most of them include patients and their families who visit All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for affordable treatment but are compelled to live on footpaths and streets.

Patients camping outside AIIMS will continue to suffer when rain comes

New Delhi:

Severe cold spell continues to grip Delhi with minimum temperatures remaining around 2-3 degrees. December this year has caught the attention of meteorological history as the national capital could record it as the second coldest in a century.

Amid the bone-chilling cold when most people are trying to stay indoors, there are many who are forced to live in the open and face this harsh weather.

Most of them include patients and their families who visit All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for affordable treatment but are compelled to live on footpaths and streets.

Mouth cancer patient Subhash Chandra has been staying outside AIIMS with his wife for the last 45 days for his treatment.

The 42-year-old from Uttar Pradesh's Hathras, who runs a small snacks shop, was unable to pay Rs 4 lakh for the operation in UP and came to Delhi, but the weather in the city has been making his health worse.

"The cold weather leads to a lot of problems. I keep getting fever because of lying here in the open. I have been told that I have cancer. Doctors are carrying out tests. They have taken out fats four times from my face but further treatment is still pending. Here four blankets are also not sufficient. It is extremely cold and so windy," Mr Chandra said.

The situation in the area is so grim that when single blankets are donated by NGOs, crowds huddle up giving rise to commotion and scuffles. The others, meanwhile, set up makeshift bonfire by burning garbage to beat the cold.

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Nitish Mishra, diagnosed with kidney failure, has been camping outside AIIMS for the last five months with his parents.

The son of a farmer, from Bihar's Sasaram, Nitish was a student at 'Super 30', the well-known coaching institute for marginalised IIT aspirants.

The 20-year-old narrated his ordeal about how his father has been managing the expenses so far by selling-off his land and that getting an accommodation is not even an option.

"Buying a room would cost me Rs 10,000. Instead of that I can buy eight days of medication with that money. Every week two injections are needed for him, each costing around Rs 1,200. I spend nearly Rs 3,000 just on medication each week," says Bharat Mishra.

The government has set up shelters around AIIMS, but each one can accommodate only 30-40 people. The remaining hundreds are forced to face the chilly weather.

For the rest of Delhi, there might be some respite from the cold from December 31 when the MET has predicted light rain which will turn up the temperature, but for people like Subhash and Nitish who live here without a roof, are suffering now and will continue to suffer even when rain comes.