Found alone at railway station, ailing elderly woman now recovering

The condition of an ailing centenarian woman, who was rescued from a railway station 14 days after her relatives left her alone in bone-chilling winter, has improved slightly.

Now she can speak but keeps mum whenever asked about her identity, said Dr Salauddin, resident medical officer of Gomastapur Health Complex, on Wednesday.

He said the woman who was on saline is now taking normal food. She, however, keeps mum whenever we ask her about her address and children. Instead, she vents her annoyance.

After spending 14 miserable days on the platform of Rohanpur Railway Station in this shivering cold, the woman was rescued by the local administration and taken to Gomastapur Health Complex on January 12.

After her admission to the hospital, she used to regain consciousness from time to time just to relapse again due to her frail health.

When the woman managed to talk to the UNB correspondent, she could not come to terms with the fact of being furtively abandoned by her family members and left to perish because she is a burden for them at her old age.

The sight of this old woman being dumped on the platform by some people piqued Sirajul Islam's curiosity. Sirajul, who is a small trader at the railway station, did not get any response from people who committed this inhuman act when he questioned their purpose when they dumped the woman.

It started raining after the elderly woman was left at the platform. As people who abandoned her did not come back, I placed hay on a deserted place under a date tree. Then I prepared a bed with an old blanket for her, he said.

Even though I'm poor, I tried my best to take care of this woman. This is how she spent two weeks braving all the odds, Sirajul said.

When the local administration came to know about it, they rescued her and took to hospital.

According to Dr Salauddin, this abandoned woman was in a critical condition when she was taken to the hospital due to her old-age complications and extreme cold. Her vital signs like blood pressure and pulses had been really low.

Mentioning that they are doing their best to treat her, Dr Salauddin said she needs advanced treatment.

As the news spread around, the upazila administration, police, doctors and local public representatives came forward in aid of this centenarian woman.

Tareque Ahmed, Rohanpur municipality mayor, rushed to the hospital as soon as he came to know about the matter.

I couldn't leave her as she is like my mother. As long as the abandoned woman's identity is not confirmed, I'll stay by her as a son, not as a public representative, he said.

Tareque further said a woman, Maloti Begum, was appointed by the municipality to look after the abandoned woman. Whenever the elderly woman is regaining her senses, she is expressing her hate for her family members and gesturing people to go away with her hands, Maloti said.

Many people are crowding the upazila health complex to see this centenarian woman. They are outraged at this cruel act of abandonment and demanded punishment of the family members who left her to die.

At the same time, they want the government to look into overall wellbeing of the woman.

Source: United News of Bangladesh