Bhopal: Padma Shri Ram Sahay Pandey Battling Cancer; No Help Coming

Bhopal: Padma Shri Ram Sahay Pandey Battling Cancer; No Help Coming

Son says cost of treatment unaffordable for them; pleas for assistance to collector, CM, PM, Prez draw no response. Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi though has asked the family to submit medical bills.

SmitaUpdated: Tuesday, May 07, 2024, 06:04 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): About a month back, 96-year-old Rai dancer and Padma Shri awardee Ram Sahay Pandey was diagnosed with prostate cancer. At present, he is admitted to a hospital in Sagar. But no help is forthcoming from anywhere. Neither the state nor the Central government is providing any help to the family for his treatment, said his kin.

Despite his son Santosh Pandey, also a Rai dancer, sending emails to everyone right from the district collector to the Prime Minister and the President, there has been no response. “Let alone offering assistance, not even a junior official has phoned to enquire about his health,” Santosh told Free Press.

Ram Sahay, who lives with his family in Sagar, has been working for popularising Rai, a prominent folk dance of the Bundelkhand region of the state, for 60 years. Rai was traditionally associated with the Bediya tribe. He was awarded Padma Shri in recognition of his contribution in 2022.

Santosh said that about a month back, he took his father to a private hospital in Sagar after he fell ill. An USG of the abdomen revealed the presence of a tumour. He was then taken to Nagpur, where, following a biopsy, he was diagnosed as suffering from prostate cancer.

On the advice of the doctors at Rashtra Sant Tukdoji Regional Cancer Hospital, Nagpur, two injections costing Rs 10,000 each were administered to him and the family brought him back to Sagar, where is now admitted at a private hospital. Doctors say that surgery is not possible at his age.

“We have already spent Rs 3 lakh on his treatment and the doctors have prescribed medicines and a monthly injection to him. That will cost around Rs 25,000- Rs 30,000 per month. We don’t have the resources to spend that kind of money,” Santosh said.

According to Santosh, he has sent emails and SMSs to the district collector, local MLA, chief minister, Union Home Minister, Prime Minister and President. “No one has responded, except the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi from where we received a call asking us to submit bills for the treatment,” he said.

Santosh said that he was sorry and sad to note that not even a junior local officer cared to enquire about his health or visit him at the hospital. He said that when the artist was being taken to Nagpur, they could not even get a lower berth on the train. “What is the use of this Padma Shri? Why shouldn’t we return it?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Sagar district collector visited him in the hospital on Monday evening and inquired about his health.

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