Just how difficult of a decision is it to call a helpline when you see a homeless man/woman, helpless and that too in pouring rains? How often do we see people living on streets in extreme conditions, and yet every time we turn a blind eye to them.
In an incident yesterday, here in Nagpur, in heavy rains throughout the night, an old woman was seen sitting in the vicinity of a café, near Shankar Nagar square. Mayank Bhadoriya who was visiting the cafe saw the woman sitting near the parking area while it was still raining. Just like many of us, Mayank ignored her at first, but on returning from the cafe he found that it had started to rain heavily and the woman was still there.
Unlike most of us, Mayank went ahead and offered the lady a bottle of water. He tried persuading her to take shelter somewhere safe, or even go with him but she did not respond.
While talking to Mayank he told us that, “I asked her, her whereabouts but she did not respond to any of my questions. The only time she looked at me was when I called her ‘Mayi’.”
He tried calling some of his friends, but could not get in touch with them. With no success persuading the woman, Mayank left the place. On returning after a few hours, he found that while the rains had stopped, the woman was still there, shivering.
Mayank tried offering her some food only to notice that, besides her, there was a carry bag supposedly consisting of food and tarpaulin. Some people had offered her help, but she was refusing it.
Talking to some security guards from the buildings nearby, Mayank came to know that the lady was there for the last 3 days.
While talking to Mayank, he told us that he talked to some policemen to see if they can provide any help. One of the policemen heard him out and offered to help the woman but only after completing their prior commitments.
Apprehensive of the policeman, Mayank went home and told his father about the incident. His father advised to call some helpline number.
Mayank put up a post on Facebook about the whole incident after which he started receiving advises and helpline numbers. He dialed some of those numbers but received no immediate help.
This morning, Mayank went to the place with some food and his mother’s clothes. The lady was not there. A guard informed him that a police van came to the rescue last night after Mayank had gone home. A lady constable along with others called an ambulance and the woman was taken to Mayo Hospital, where she is being treated.
Mayank is trying to be in contact with various NGOs and is planning to visit Mayo hospital to follow up on the woman’s health.
Homelessness can be isolating, devastating and dangerous. If you encounter any such person, lend a helping hand by providing food or shelter and if not anything, dial the below-mentioned helpline numbers.
Shanti Bhavan Oldage Home: +91 7122591935
Woman Police Helpline: 1091
Mayo Hospital: 0712 272 8627
Cheers to Mayank!
Title image source: Limerick