Allahabad resident, 55-year-old Dablu Khan, had arrived in Nalasopara in the second week of March with the hope of getting treatment for his 15-year-old daughter Alia, who he says suffers from a neurological disorder. Khan had hoped to seek help from actor Salman Khan's NGO Being Human Foundation.
However, locked down in the city, Khan's savings have diminished and he has not been able to pay rent for the last three months. He reached Vasai's Suncity grounds on Wednesday, hoping to catch a train home, but alleges that he was caned by a policeman.
"I have no money to bear my daughter's medical expenses and a few friends in Allahabad told me that Salman Khan helps poor people like me. So, I had reached Nalasopara with my wife and four children in the second week of March but have been stranded here," says Khan, who runs a business of sale and purchase of animals back home.
"We could not even pay rent. The landlord was screaming at me. Today, I vacated the room without paying rent as a few neighbours told me that there is a train for Allahabad from Vasai Road station and that free tickets are being distributed at Suncity ground."
Khan says he then flagged an autorickshaw, paying R400 to reach Suncity ground, but a policeman caned him and his family was chased away. "I had come here to arrange medical facility for my ailing daughter but remained stranded inside a house. We could not even meet and contact Salman Khan. I don't know how my daughter will be cured," he added. Khan had taken Alia to Hyderabad where he met a neuro physician at Sai Krishna Super speciality hospital a couple of years ago. "But she is yet to recover. She collapses while walking, she cannot even speak properly. We are completely destroyed," he says, sobbing.
Khan and his family have now been provided shelter in Vasai by volunteers of Samadhan Foundation and Jeevdani Trust. "We have been distributing food and water among migrants as the government is not offering them help. Khan and his family were in distress as the landlord had forced them to vacate the room, so we have brought them to our office and gave them food and shelter. The room has all facilities including a water connection, a separate bathroom, electricity, etc," says Fazle Haque B Qureshi, chairman of Samadhan Foundation.