Unable to pay bribe for wheelchair, semi-paralysed man in Hyderabad wheels around hospital using son's tricycle

Sriparna Ghosh
Raju pushing around on his son's tricycle while his wife Santoshi helps him

A semi-paralysed man in Hyderabad resorted to using his son's tricycle to ply through hospital wards as he was unable to pay a bribe of Rs 100 for a wheelchair. The video of the man, Raju, pushing the tricycle himself started making rounds on social media on Friday, March 17.

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Last year, Raju had suffered an electric shock that left him semi-paralysed. Raju, who hails from Begumpet, is painter by profession, but struggles to earn money to sustain his family of five. His wife Santoshi also earns only Rs 1,500 by working as domestic help.

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"My husband lost the use of his legs after the accident last year. For the last 100 days, he has been admitted at Gandhi Hospital for treatment. He was put on the sixth floor, so every time we asked for a wheelchair the ward boy asks for Rs 50 or Rs 100," Santoshi told the Times of India.

"On Friday, we brought my child's tricycle to help him move around without having to pay a bribe," she added.

Santoshi also pushed the tricycle to help her husband move around the wards. "There was one ward boy Shamim who asked us for money for every visit of ours. I have handed my mangalsutra to a pawn broker to fund my husband's treatment," said Santoshi.

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Raju has also been facing hassles to get his operation done as the doctors keep on saying that there is no blood available at the hospital. "I lost my job due to the accident. I am not able to buy essential commodities for my family or myself. How can I pay Rs 100 every time for the wheelchair? That's why I got my son's tricycle for moving within the hospital," said Raju.

While refusing to facilitate Raju with a wheelchair was wrong, it was even more shameful to ask bribe from the poor family. In fact, Santoshi also claims that each time they asked for a wheelchair, the ward boys asked them to give them money or deposit their mobile which would be returned when they would return the wheelchair.

In a tweet, Telangana's IT, Electronics and Communication Minister Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao has promised to help Raju and his family.

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The superintendent of the hospital, Dr Majula, has denied receiving any such complaint. "We are trying to trace who the culprits are and we will submit a report to the government for taking action. Also the family has been called to come back to the hospital on Monday. Currently, we are conducting an inquiry into the matter and we will take action against those responsible," she said.

Meanwhile, Director of Medical Education, Telangana, Dr M Ramani said that the patient has made a false claim as the hospital has many wheelchairs.

#WATCH Patient forced to use child’s tricycle to reach doctor’s ward at Govt Hospital in Hyderabad as he couldn't pay alleged bribe of Rs150 pic.twitter.com/6P0v3KnG1v

— ANI (@ANI_news) March 17, 2017

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