Manipur hospital extends helping hand to destitute

Imphal: J.N. Institute of Medical Sciences, the only state-run medical college in Manipur, has set a rare example -- tending to poor and needy patients free of cost and even arranging to fetch them from far-flung areas. The free services rendered by the hospital, set up only a few years ago, are a boon to those who cannot afford the exorbitant hospital bills.  Deven Laishram last week led a hospital team to pick up R.K. Tamphasana, a young housewife who was deserted by her husband when both her legs were paralysed following a botched operation.  She has been bed-ridden for the last five years. To feed and educate her son and invalid parents she had borrowed some money for which the patch of homestead is about to be taken away by the money lender.  Laishram said, "JNIMS is also the hospital of the poor and Tamphasana will get the best treatment and free medicine." Specialists are doing their best to restore her health though amputation seems to be the only way out as all that is left of her thighs are bones.  On Thursday a tribal woman, both legs paralysed, was brought to JNIMS with the help of lawyers and other activists from Tamenglong district.  The woman, Khalailung, was paralysed after the birth of her third baby. By that time she became a widow and with her village Khamphai having no motorable road the only treatment was herbal medicine.  While a district legal awareness camp was on in the village, her neighbours brought her in a litter from where lawyers and doctors took her to JNIMS.  Aribam Noutuneswori, a district judge, said: "We heard about the plight of this woman one year ago and had approached the JNIMS authority." Laishram said: "Our medical team started the journey in the bridle path at 3 a.m. to fetch her. All specialists are now attending to her to see whether her health can be restored. She will get free treatment and medicines."  Ramshing, the father of the patient, said, "We are poor people. Since we could not send her to any hospital she remained bed ridden. The Almighty shall bless those who have helped my daughter."