Life is not easy if you are aged, if you are ailing, if you are helpless and have nobody to take care of. It would be great to have someone to accompany you to the hospital, to have someone to accompany you to the medical store or buy your medicines and groceries. However, the picture is different in Dankuni, a city in West Bengal’s Hooghly district. Here the elderly residents have a “son” who takes care of them especially for matters related to their health.
Meet Sumon Dey, a resident of Dankuni who has dedicated himself to serving the helpless elderly people of the city. The 33-year-old can be seen running around to serve the elderly and underprivileged residents, accompanying them to hospitals and free health check up camps.
Free cataract surgery
On 1st January this year, Sumon organised a free eye screening and cataract surgery camp for the underprivileged residents in Dankuni’s Milan Sangha Ground in collaboration with Kolkata’s Susrut Eye Foundation & Research Centre. A total of 151 people underwent free eye check up at the camp while 16 were diagnosed as eligible for a cataract surgery. The following day, Sumon hired a bus and accompanied these 16 people to the hospital for free cataract surgery.
“I was diagnosed with cataract in both my eyes. The vision was severely affected in my right eye, hence they operated it first. The surgery was completely free of cost and I am grateful to Sumon for this initiative,” said Gayatri Ganguly, an elderly resident of Dankuni’s Khelar Math area.
Sumon has recently helped arrange surgery for an elderly lady for pacemaker implant in a Kolkata hospital. He also recently arranged for uterus tumor surgery for a cancer patient after appeal for help from her husband.
“In November, my mother needed to get a pacemaker implant within three days. The hospital cost came around Rs 2,70,000, a sum which was difficult for us to arrange so quickly. But we did not have time and the surgery had to be done immediately. In such a helpless condition, I got in touch with Sumon and he told me not to worry, assuring us that he will be making the necessary arrangements. He helped us avail Swasthya Sathi, a healthcare scheme and the surgery was successfully performed at Kolkata’s AMRI Hospital. I am grateful to Sumon because without his timely intervention and support, it would not have been possible for us to get my mother’s surgery done on time and save her life,” expressed Dankuni resident Soumen Kundu.
For a noble cause
“I always try to stand by those who are helpless. I do not earn so much to help people with money. Hence, I try to do whatever is in my capacity to help the residents in my locality, especially the elderly. Anybody who is ailing but there is nobody to accompany them to the hospital, I go with them and get them admitted. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I accompanied many elderly people till the nearest vaccination centre. I also educate the elderly about Government schemes for healthcare and how they can avail the same,” Sumon told The CSR Journal.
“I recently arranged for uterus tumor surgery for a cancer patient, who is a resident of Dankuni’s Ward No 7. The surgery costs around Rs 1.5 lakh and her husband is a daily wage construction worker who can barely make ends meet. The doctor had advised her to undergo surgery within five days and they contacted me in a helpless state. Finally the surgery was done,” Sumon informed.
Not just the elderly, Sumon is the go-to name for anybody seeking any kind of help and enjoys immense popularity in Dankuni. He has also facilitated employment for unemployed underprivileged youths in the city.
Ahana Bhattacharya can be reached at email@example.com