Denied help by two govt hospitals, she delivered twins on the pavement, then died

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Kolkata:  A set of  newborn twins lie inches apart on a government hospital bed. One a boy, the other a girl. They are not even 24 hours old. They were delivered around midnight on the pavement where their parents live. After their birth, the father tried to admit his seriously ill wife and the twins to hospital. But in vain.

First, taxis refused to take the family to hospital. Finally one agreed. The father, who is a daily labour and can barely afford a taxi far, first went to the government run Chittaranjan Shishu Sadan in in south Kolkata. They were told to go instead to another government-run hospital,  Shambhunath Pandit Hospital, an 15 minute drive away.  At Shambhunath Pandit, the family was ordered to return to the hospital they had initially approached.  There, Titu Tanti was told his wife had died and sent home.

Much later, around 10 this morning, the twins were finally admitted to Chittaranjan Shishu Sadan. They are both underweight and suffering from exposure to cold. Doctors say they are under observation and cant be declared stable for the next 24 hours.  Titu Tanti  told NDTV  about his ordeal. "I cleaned her up and put her in the taxi. I came to this hospital. They did not admit her. She was dead. Her body was warm.They sent us to Shambhu Nath Pandit Hospital. They also refused us. Then we came here again. They said she is dead, we won't admit her," he says.

The hospitals deny any negligence or indifference to the Tanti family. The Health Department will conduct an investigation. Chittaranjan Shishu Sadan, the first hospital that allegedly refused assistance to Usha Devi, says it has concluded after a formal enquiry that Titu Tanti and his family never showed up.

Dr Asish Mukhopadhyay, Chittaranjan Shishu Sadan's Superintendent said, "There is no documentary evidence, no supporting evidence in my hospital. I asked him repeatedly, thrice i asked him what is the name of the hospital, which hospital are you talking about. Do you know which hospital. Maybe he is confusing hospitals. I don't know. I am clueless."

Titu Tanti, impoverished and illiterate, has not registered a formal complaint either with the police or the hospital.




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