Mrunal Manmay Dash

70-year-old Ranjit Tripathy arrived at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur to get treated for his ailments five years back. But little did he know that the hospital would turn out to be his address for the rest of his life.

The isolation ward of MKCG Hospital has been the home of Tripathy for the last five years. With no relatives ever enquiring about his whereabouts, he has been left at the hospital for good.

“I have been at the hospital for the last 4-5 years. I had come from Bhubaneswar for treatment. My family members do not care for me,” Tripathy said.

Incidentally, Tripathy is not the only one, there are five other elderly persons including two women who have been left at the hospital by their children, who never cared to look back at them.

The women who are already past their seventies can neither hear properly nor speak fluently. All those destitute have now become adopted children for the staff of the hospital and an NGO entrusted to take care of them.

From making them brush their teeth to changing their clothing, the nurses and the NGO staff effectively do all the things for the destitute of that ward.

“These destitute have nobody to take care of. So we do whatever is humanly possible. We have to make them eat and change their sheets, help them wash their hands, and perform every other daily chore,” said Muni Jena, an NGO employee.

Sangram Keshari Panda, Administrative Officer of MKCG said, “As far as the hospital’s duty is concerned, we keep them as long as they are being treated. Once their treatment is finished, their family should take them back. But in this case, we have already employed an NGO to take care of them. We will shortly arrange a destitute home and try to shift them there.”

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