House owner, panchayat staff shut doors on cancer patient in Andhra Pradesh before death- The New Indian Express

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By Express News Service

ONGOLE:  In a testimony to eroding human values, 60-year-old cancer patient Gadde Venkata Lakshmi was denied dignity in death. First, she was not allowed into her rented house by the owner and later she was forced to leave a room provided by panchayat officials hours before the hapless woman breathed her last on Wednesday.  

The tragic incident occurred at Paamooru. The woman was diagnosed with cancer four months ago and her son Suresh, who runs a marriage bureau, spent Rs 4 lakh on her medical treatment at different hospitals, but to no avail.

Lakshmi had developed some complications on Monday and was immediately shifted to the Community Health Centre (CHC) by her son. After examining her, doctors told Suresh that his mother was critical and she should be taken to a good hospital for better treatment. She was discharged the same day.  

To his utter shock, Suresh was not allowed to carry his mother inside his house by the landlord. When he approached local panchayat officials for help, they provided a room at the ‘Wealth from Waste Production Centre’ on the outskirts of the village. But this small relief from adversity did not long last as sanitation staff asked Suresh to leave the room immediately.

Finding nowhere to go, Suresh made a tent nearby and shifted his ailing mother there. Probably moved by his plight, CHC authorities, after consultation with their higher-ups, admitted her to the hospital, where she lost her battle with cancer on Wednesday. Lakshmi and her husband Venkataiah worked as farmhands. They migrated to Paamooru from Pedarajupalem in Chandrasekharapuram mandal 10 years ago.

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