A video of a 13-year old girl from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh begging her father to pay for her cancer treatment has gone viral on social media, days after she died.
Sai Sri, who died of bone marrow cancer on Sunday, made the appeal to her father Shiva Kumar 3 days before her death seeking financial assistance through a video. It was recorded on a mobile phone by her mother Suma Sri.
“Please save me, daddy. Doctors say I won’t survive for long if I don’t get treatment. You say you don’t have money, but we have a house here. Please sell it and pay for my treatment. Please do something and save me,” Sai is seen saying in the video.
“I want to go to school like all other children and play with my friends. If I get treatment on time, I can go to school again. I feel pain in my limbs. There is no money with mummy. If you think that she will take your money, then you take me to the hospital, and get me treated,” she says.
The video was forwarded to Kumar through WhatsApp but he didn’t respond, Suma alleged.
Suma said,” Sai was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in August 2016 and doctors in Hyderabad told her the only way the girl could survive was through bone marrow transplantation, which would cost around Rs 30 lakh.”
“I had no money so I called Shiva Kumar who asked me to bring the child to him, saying he would get her proper treatment at Bengaluru. I left Sai Sri with him in February this year but he did not take her to any hospital. So, I brought her back to Vijayawada,” Suma added.
She further added that she is separated from Kumar, a follower of local Telugu Desam Party MLA Bonda Umamaheshwar Rao, when Sai was two. Kumar wrote his house in Vijayawada to Sai but since she was a minor it was still under his name. She wanted to raise the money by selling the house but followers of the MLA, who forcibly occupied the house, prevented her from doing so.
“That is why Sai Sri appealed to her father to sell the house for her treatment. Now, my daughter is dead. And he didn’t even come to see the deceased daughter,” Suma said.
Vijayawada Police Commissioner Gautam Sawang assured Suma that he would look into the case. Though a case was registered against Kumar and his friends on the charges of intimidating Suma, no arrests have been made so far.
Andhra Pradesh Child Rights Association, which got a clipping of this video, brought it to the notice of the State Human Rights Commission(SHRC) seeking action against Kumar for denying his daughter the right to live.
“This is highly inhuman and atrocious. As a biological father, he has the responsibility to take care of his daughter,” association’s President P Achyuta Rao said.
The SHRC has asked the police commissioner for a report by July 20.