Mangalore: Cancer Threatens Young Shivraj, Family in Dire Straits
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore
Mangalore, Dec 11: At his age, people normally plan and dream big about their careers. Shivraj, at just 23, is fighting the deadly disease of cancer.
What is worse, the family, consisting of Shivraj's mother Prema Naik (45) and his two younger siblings, has no relatives here, and the only bread winner of the family has been Shivraj himself. Prema's husband Krishnappa abandoned the family when the children were very young, and since then Prema has single-handedly raised them.
Shivraj used to work as a driver for Valerian D'Souza and earn bread for the family. Fate struck a cruel blow two years ago when Shivraj was afflicted with cancer on his left leg. The treatment went well because of the timely financial support from Valerian D’Souza.
Shivraj underwent chemotherapy treatment, however, he was given only two cycles as against the prescribed four cycles. Neither Prema Naik nor Shivraj knew that the treatment was incomplete, as Valerain had promised to look after his complete medication.
Two years on, the cancer has now spread to his lungs. "Unfortunately the disease has spread to the lungs. He is in the last stage of cancer (Primitive Neuroectodermal Embriogenic Tumour (PNET)). His life span could be extended only with chemotherapy," said Dr K Prasad, oncologist and Shivraj’s doctor at Wenlock Hospital.
Family in Distress
The family resides at Manjikatta; Inoli in Pavoor. While his two siblings, Bhojraj (22) is studying BSc in Mangalore University, the younger sister Mamatha (18) recently discontinued studies due to financial constraints and to help her mother earn a living. Shivraj, the main breadwinner for the family is now bedridden.
The family does not have its own house. The four of them stay in a cement sheet-house built by Thomas D’Souza of Inoli. In return, Prema and her daughter do house chores for the family.
The family migrated from Shimoga more than 15 years ago. Initially, Prema worked in the quarry and it was then that her husband Krishnappa left the family. They have no idea where he is now.
The children were then sent to Central Muslim Aided Primary School, Malapadavu. However, Shivraj discontinued studies to help his mother in running the family. Meanwhile, Madhusudhan, the school teacher, helped the family in availing free education for the other two children.
Speaking to daijiworld, Madhusudhan said, "The family, which was very poor and had migrated from Shimoga, was able to secure free education as it belongs to Scheduled Tribe (ST) category. Bhojraj and Mamatha got free admission for Science (PCMB) and accommodation at Morarji Desai Residential School, Beltangady. Though Mamath could not continue, Bhojraj is now pursuing free education (BSc) in Mangalore University."
The younger son Bhojraj told Daijiworld, "For all these years, we never had our own house. We shifted houses whenever we got to work for families. Thomas D'Souza of Inoli gave us land to build a house, while locals helped us in buying house materials. Because of their help, today we have a small house. In return we are asked to work for the owner. The land was given to us under the condition that we work for them," Bhojraj said, producing a formal agreement.
Speaking to daijiworld, Shivraj said, “I want to build a house for ourselves. We have been working under others all these years, I have always wanted to be self-reliant. I dreamt of helping my brother and sister in their further studies," he said.
When asked what they aspire to become, Mamatha said she wants to become a teacher while Bhojraj said, "I aspire to become a doctor. I worked hard to achieve my goal but realising the condition of my brother, I lost hope. We four are the world to each other and have no one else - no relatives, no father, and no background. We do not have anyone except friends circles," he said.
Presently, apart from the medication, the family needs financial assistance for the higher education of the two children and for their daily needs. The family is scarcely able to afford even small expenditures.
Those wishing to help the family may respond to the following address:
C/o Thomas D’Souza
Malar Padavu, Manjikatta House
Pavoor Post, Mangalore.
Mob: 7899939578 (Bhojraj)
Account Number: 3634101001426
IFSC Code: CNRB0003634
Canara Bank, Fajir
Karnataka - 574181