On September 22, like an occasional Sunday routine, Sujatha and Biju B left their house in Chennai’s Saligramam early morning to go to church. This time, they attended the religious service heavy-hearted. It was only a week ago that the couple had found that 46-year-old Sujatha has advanced stage breast cancer. The couple even requested the church priest for his prayers as they were preparing to head to Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala to start the treatment.
After the prayers that Sunday, the couple got on their two-wheeler and started for their house. But they never made it home that noon.
A speeding car had hit their vehicle from behind at the busy signal near Ampa Mall on Poonamallee High Road. While Biju fell on the road, Sujatha was thrown off the bike, over a median.
In the impact, Sujatha sustained some severe injuries to her body: fractures on her pelvic bone and collar bone, and deep gashes on her head and foot, among others. Biju, who runs a small electronics shop in his rented house, and is the sole breadwinner of his family, also sustained a fractured in his left hand.
The passers-by took the couple to Billroth Hospital in Aminjikarai, near the accident site. They also insisted the driver, who hit the couple’s vehicle and identified herself as a doctor, to go along with the victims.
Anil George, a friend of the couple, reached the hospital soon after the accident. “The female doctor promised to bear the expense of the treatment. She hung around for some time until her husband and two others reached the hospital. We have not seen them after that,” he told TNM.
The Anna Nagar police station registered an FIR under sections 279 (punishment for rash driving) and 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code.
Considering Sujatha’s condition and the expenses for the treatment, the family was asked to shift Sujatha to government-run Stanley Medical College, where she is now undergoing treatment.
Standing by Sujatha, with a fractured hand, is Biju, who cannot resume work immediately. Hence, their financial obligations, too, have piled up.
The family has two daughters, the elder one doing her graduation and her sibling is in class 9.
During the 2016 floods in Chennai, the articles in their house, including dress and study material, were destroyed. A few well-wishers from their church had then helped them.
This time, too, a few well-wishers have come forward and started a fundraiser on Milaap, to raise an amount of Rs 30 lakh, for Biju and Sujatha. The team has managed to raise over Rs 1 lakh.
Here’s how you can help Sujatha and Biju through their ordeal: https://milaap.org/