Patients, relatives take shelter in DMRC toilet near AIIMS

Built next to Gate No. 1 of AIIMS, this DMRC toilet has been a temporary home to several families whose relatives are undergoing treatment at AIIMS for diseases like blood cancer and brain tumour.

Nearly 7,000 patients come to the AIIMS' Out Patient Department every day from across the country. The premier hospital's resthouse ('dharamshala') is under construction while the other facility near it is always full.

With doctors asking the patients to come for regular check-ups, those who have come from far off places and have no place to go in the city prefer to squat near the hospital.
One of the inmates of the toilet, Murali Prasad Kesari, a resident of Samastipur in Bihar who is undergoing treatment for blood cancer and fractures at AIIMS, said, "This place is a great relief. My daughter and my wife sleep inside at night. Earlier they were living near the hospital gate. I am here since April 2010. We do not have relatives nor can we afford the rent of the 'dharmshala'."

According to a DMRC official, the toilet came up in December 2010 and will be fully functional in another three months.

"This place protects us during winters and also when it rains. We have our lunch and dinner inside it. Now as summers are here, it is very hot inside. So all of us are out during the day and come back at night time," Rahatman, a tongawala from Kanpur who is undergoing treatment with the department of surgery, AIIMS said.

Most of the families living at the under-construction toilet have relatives who have been discharged by hospital after undergoing difficult surgeries and asked to visit the hospital at regular intervals for check-up.

"My grandson underwent a surgery for brain tumor. The doctor has asked us to come for a routine check-up every 15 days for the next eight months. We cannot afford to travel so frequently and cannot afford the 'dharamshala' too. After my grandson was discharged we lived near the gate and now this toilet," Rajinder Singh from Gwalior said.

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