“I can’t believe he’s not with us anymore. The banks call us every day and demand the repayment of loans that we received for housing and education.

Published: September 13, 2021 3:45 AM |

Last updated: September 13, 2021 3:45 am

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Family members react while a COVID-19 victim is cremated outside a crematorium. (File Photo | PTI)

CHENNAI: In the face of Nizhal Mozhi, the wife of the late front doctor Dr. Manimaran, grief builds as she explains the ordeal she has been through since her husband died from Covid-19 three months ago.

“I can’t believe he’s no longer with us. The banks call us every day and demand the repayment of loans that we received for housing and education. We’re getting by now with the help of our friends – we don’t know how long, ”she said, adding that she urgently needed the solatium of Rs 25 lakh announced months ago by the state government.

Manimaran was only 39 years old when he died while working at Tiruchy GH, leaving Nizhal and their two children who still believe their father will be home soon. “If I could get the help, it would at least help me cover my children’s education costs,” said Nizhal, adding that her petition to the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) went unheeded.

Nizhal is, however not the only one facing this neglect. Many families of doctors who died in harness due to Covid-19 did not receive the solatium. This disregard could also undermine the morale of doctors across the state, although the possibility of a third wave hasn’t been entirely ruled out, sources said.

“I have two children and don’t have a job. The annual school fee for my children is at least Rs 2 lakh. If I don’t get the solatium, I’ll have to move her from this school, ”said Divya, wife of 40-year-old Dr.

Divya and her children now live in her father Radhakrishnan’s house in Kancheepuram. Radhakrishnan, a retiree, said he could only provide food for his daughter and grandchildren. “There is nothing else I can do,” he added. It should be noted that the former AIAAIAAIADMK government announced 50 lakh as solatium to the family of the deceased frontline doctors in April 2020, but at that time only two families received, and only 25 lakh.

The DMK government shortly after taking office, announced a solatium of 25 rupees each to the families of 43 deceased frontline doctors. But only two families received the solatium by the end of August. Narasimhan, the younger brother of 47-year-old Dr. Hemalatha, who died of Covid-19, said her family had not yet received state government solatium but received state doctors insurance from the union government.

According to the Indian Medical Association (IMA), died in both waves over 100 doctors in Tamil Nadu on Covid-19. Officials said they were processing the funds and that it was speeding up.

“Most of the requests have been approved; All beneficiaries would receive the solatium, ”said a health department official. However, IMA members said the amount needs to be increased to Rs 50 lakh. Dr. Perumal Pillai, president of the Government Doctors’ Legal Coordinating Committee, said the families of only two doctors – Sugumar and Kalyanaraman – have received the solatium and the process needs to be speeded up. “The families of the front line doctors are suffering; The aid announced by the state must be provided quickly, ”he said.

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