AIIMS patients' relatives find refuge from cold in nearby Metro station

AIIMS patients' relatives find refuge from cold in nearby Metro station

For relatives of patients at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here, the Metro station next to the hospital has doubled up as a temporary accommodation.

Braving the capital’s biting cold, close to 30 families of patients’ have taken shelter inside the AIIMS Metro station next to Gate No-1 of the Institute and the new subway which forms the entry-exit of the station.

"My son has undergone a heart surgery. Doctors have asked us to come for check-up after every 20 days. We cannot afford to travel so frequently from our village.

That is why we have decided to stay back and complete the treatment process and return back home," 51-year-old Ramakant Kumar, who came all the way from Bihar's Madhubani, said."The dharamshala (hospital's resthouse) will not allow us to stay for such a long time and we have no relatives here. This (entrance to the subway) is a safe place, being closed from all sides."Over 30 families live here, including my wife, daughter-in-law and grand-daughter. Many live in the stairway (of the Metro station) and others live around the gates," Kumar said.

Around 8,000 patients from different parts of the country visit AIIMS everyday. Out these, a majority of them come from economically backward sections and far-off places and cannot afford the hospital's dharamshala, which is otherwise full.

A few months ago, the DMRC toilet next to Gate No-1 had turned into a temporary home for several families like that of Kumar."Earlier we were staying at the DMRC toilet. But then all of a sudden we were thrown out and the toilet, though not in use, is shut from all sides. It is not comfortable place as it is very cold at night and we cannot lit a fire around," Sukhbir, another relative of a patient undergoing treatment at AIIMS, said.

"After breakfast, almost all of us stay inside the hospital the whole day. We return only in the evening. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, many people distribute food and prasad too," he said.

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