A New Route
Amar Singh is a seventy-three-year-old man from Rajahmundry, a city in Andhra Pradesh, roughly 400 km (248 miles) from Hyderabad. Mr. Singh was working as a day laborer doing cleanup for a construction company when he fell down a set of stairs while working. He broke his leg so badly that one of his bones was sticking out of his skin. Instead of supporting him, the construction company fired Mr. Singh. While “official” workers in India might have something like workers’ compensation, a legal right to medical care, and lost wages when they are hurt in the course of their jobs, many poor people like Mr. Singh work on a “casual” basis and essentially have no labor rights., In fact, there are large numbers of Indians, especially older ones in the countryside, who have no birth certificates and thus no official identity. Without a state ID, they can’t claim benefits from the government. Mr. Singh was left with no way to get the medical care he needed and no way to feed himself.
Mr. Singh also had no family or friends to support him. In the olden days, villages used to be like one big family and they used to support each other when someone was hurt even if the injured or sick individual had no close relatives in the village. That feeling of togetherness has slowly diminished as more Indians from the countryside have had to move to the cities., which are larger and more anonymous.
Mr. Singh went to many hospitals but they all turned him down as he didn’t have money to pay for treatment. As he searched for help, Mr. Singh walked on his injured leg for almost a month until he ended up at a train station on the outskirts of Hyderabad about 248 miles from his home. The police found him but weren’t able to speak with him as he didn’t understand Telugu and they didn’t speak Hindi, Mr. Singh’s native language. News reporters came to report his story and luckily some of the reporters were able to communicate with him through Hindi. He talked to them about his story so that hopefully someone would read the article and be able to help take him in. While he was speaking to the reporters the police called the FCN Home where they often place senior citizens in dire condition.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, the old age home first admitted Mr. Singh to the hospital for 5 days while he was tested for the virus. After he tested negative, Mr. Singh was welcomed to his new home at FCN. They put a plate of rice in front of him and before the staff could even serve the curry that went with it, he started eating the plain rice, because he hadn’t eaten in days. He was taken good care of, Dr. Yeruva dressed his wounds and the staff helped to freshen him up. When he came to FCN.
Mr. Singh’s wounds had not been attended to for over a month. Care Good was able to contribute to his care at FCN by providing the wrap used to dress his leg. Luckily, Mr. Singh’s leg is now healing well and his condition has improved greatly. We look forward to seeing more of his progress when we deliver more medicines to FCN. In the meantime, Mr. Singh is extremely grateful to have found the help and the home he needed at FCN.
While many Americans think of India as being almost completely Hindu, this isn’t the case. For instance, Hyderabad is thirty percent Muslim. Mr. Singh happens to be Sikh. Though most of the residents at FCN are Hindu, the home welcomes individuals of all faiths. There are currently two Muslims residing at FCN and Christian nuns regularly help around the home.