Tehatta, Nov. 24: Residents of a Nadia village have pooled in funds to build a tiled house for an HIV-positive woman and her one-month-old daughter who were abandoned by her husband and in-laws and had been staying in a tarpaulin tent for the past week.
The 25-year-old woman, who had given birth to the girl on October 16, had been languishing in a government hospital after her in-laws refused to take her back home. Although the brother of the woman’s labourer husband sent a person a few days later to take the two back, they were dumped in a field in heavy rain.
Tehatta police rescued the rain-drenched woman and the newborn, who were later admitted to Tehatta block hospital.
The woman’s mother released the two from the hospital last week but refused to let them into her house.
The local panchayat built a tent and the mother-daughter had been staying there amid dropping temperatures that touched as low as 15°C in Nadia.
The woman and her husband were diagnosed with HIV during tests that preceded the delivery of the child. After the girl was born, the husband left for Pune where he works as a labourer. He could not be contacted.
A group of 15 villagers decided a couple of days ago to build a house with contributions. The residents have raised Rs 15,000 from 70 people and have bought corrugated tin sheets, bamboo and tiles.
“We were pained to see the woman and her newborn living in a tarpaulin tent when we have been staying in concrete houses wearing warm clothes,” said Sanjit Ghosh, a local quack.
The house is being built on a patch of land provided by the woman’s mother after requests from the villagers.
The woman will be able to apply for a concrete house under Indira Awaas Yojna in the future.