Life for Anitha, Madhusudhan Reddy and their four-and-a-half years old daughter Ruthvika revolved around making plans to welcome a younger one into their family. Anitha is pregnant and Ruthvika was understandably excited.
That world came crashing down on 4 September. The home of joy is now mourning the loss of little Ruthvika, a UKG student.
On Saturday, when Ruthvika developed fever, she was taken to a local clinic run by a family of doctors. This is in Laxmi Nagar locality of Lalapet area of Secunderabad. They diagnosed it as viral fever and the fever with paracetamol, reduced a bit the following day.
On Monday, the excited child dressed up for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival but soon felt tired and did not show an appetite. On Tuesday, her condition worsened and she was rushed to Navodaya hospital in Secunderabad.
The hospital refused to admit her, saying she is serious and referred her to Rainbow Hospital in Hyderabad. It was there that she was tested for dengue, which turned out positive. But Ruthvika’s platelet count had begun to fall dramatically. In less than 24 hours, the doctors found it impossible to save a very critical Ruthvika.
Who killed Ruthvika? Locals and the authorities, suggests M Srinivas, a cable operator who is her neighbour.
“There is a vacant plot right in front of our homes which is used by people in this locality to dump their garbage. Despite our requests, no one pays heed and instead argue that this is not our land to tell them not to dump garbage there. Today, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation staff came and cleaned it. When I requested them to tell the other residents not to use it as a dumping place, they said that is not their job,” Srinivas told Filter Kaapi.
While the apathy of the locals towards sanitation is cringeworthy, the municipal officials too have woken up late. On Wednesday, Ruthvika’s father returned after cremating his little one to find that the GHMC anti-mosquito fogging team had been sent to the locality. Srinivas says it was the first visit the machine was making this monsoon season.