KOLKATA: An employee of Beleghata ID and BG Hospital, the state-run referral healthcare unit in Kolkata which is treating the maximum number of Covid-19 patients, was driven out of her village when she arrived there to pay a weekly visit to her mother and sister. The woman, who lost her father a decade ago, goes to her village every week as her mother and 15-year-old sister depend on her. After she was forced to leave, her mother and sister now fear ostracism by their neighbours.
Chitra Mondal, the 24-year-old employee of the hospital’s accounts department, travels to Ranaghat in Nadia, around 80 km from Kolkata, every weekend. ‘‘I went to my village on last Saturday in a car provided by my hospital. As I was about to enter the village, a group of 100 odd villagers waylaid me. They said that I will not be allowed to visit my home.
I tried to convince them I followed the guidelines of sanitising myself before leaving the hospital. But all my pleas fell into deaf ears,’’ said Chitra. Mondal finally spent the night at a relative’s house in nearby Ranaghat town. “My mother and sister are fearing ostracism by the villagers. No one is interacting with them. I fear what will happen of they are not allowed to procure essential items from the grocery shops at the village,’’ said Chitra.
Deputy chief of local Noapara-Mushundi gram panchayat Nabin Chandra Mondal said he had visited the village after coming to know the interception. ‘’Many villagers are visiting my house and saying they will not allow her to stay at home. When I visited the village, I tried to make the villagers understand. Some of them were convinced, but majority of the villagers are not ready to allow Chitra to spend weekends at her home,’’ said the deputy chief.