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Dhulia Oja suffers for lack of aid

- Petition submitted to CM

Jorhat, Feb. 21: Nira Hazarika, wife of renowned dhulia (drummer) of the ’70s and ’80s, Hiteswar Oja, 71, is at the end of her tether.

She returned home to Golaghat today from GMCH, Guwahati, after showing the reports of her husband’s illness with no hope that he would be cured of his bleeding prostate gland problem.

For the past year, Nira has been taking her husband from one hospital to another in search of a cure for his illness. She has even taken a loan of Rs 20,000 from the self-help group where she works, to pay for the pathology lab tests and other bills.

Even GMCH has failed Nira. With her husband almost bedridden with a tube inserted, she is the only one left to take his reports to the doctor at GMCH at intervals.

Her two daughters are married and two sons are not showing much interest.

“The doctor at GMCH just prescribes more tests and medicines. Even this time he has given medicines and asked me to do a test and come back after another month. This has become a costly affair and I have already paid for getting three tests done,” she said. I do not know why the GMCH does not admit my husband and operate on him if it is required. He is suffering tremendously because of the bleeding and even collapsed and had to be admitted to a hospital after we returned from GMCH about a couple of months back,” she said.

Nira said the family was too poor to carry on the treatment. “I have taken a loan from the self-help group, of which I am a member. If this kind of treatment continues I may have to sell the bullocks which plough the small land we own,” she said.

The All Assam Dhulia Shilpi Sanmilan submitted a petition to the chief minister on February 9, seeking aid for Hiteswar Oja, who has greatly contributed to the culture of Assam. “Hiteswar Oja, along with Budheswar Dounia and Dhaneswar Saikia were famous dhulias who belonged to the golden period of the Ojas of Assam in the ’70s and ’80s. Hiteswar Oja especially was famous for playing the kappa dhun hasti taal and the neol baaghi,” Jiten Bora Oja, secretary of the organisation said.

Bora said he hoped that the government would be responsive to their demand for aid to Hiteswar Oja and others like him who had not received the Shilpi pension and were now living in penury.

A doctor at Golaghat civil hospital, who had treated Hiteswar Oja, said if cancer has been detected the operation should not be delayed. “The first test was positive. GMCH did it again but I do not know the results. The man is suffering and if medicines are not working, an operation should be done immediately.”

A.K. Adhikari, principal doctor at Assam Medical College and Hospital, Dibrugarh, said the urological department was not equipped to conduct such an operation.

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