Asma was strong, healthy | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 22, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Asma was strong, healthy

Asma was strong, healthy

Asma had worked from dawn to dusk even on the day of Eid-ul-Azha when she was merely five days away from a caesarean section that she would undergo at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital on October 11.
Running from door to door on the eid day, she collected quite a pile of meat given away by affluent people in Tongi's Arizpur.
Born to parents who are given to begging, she worked as a cleaner at a local insurance company as well as stitching bags for grocery shops.
She was in perfect shape even during the final stages of her pregnancy, said Shilpi, caretaker of the impoverished Boubazar neighborhood where Asma lived.
“After collecting the meat, she even went to the market for selling a portion of it at Tk 2,000,” said Shilpi. “She gave me half the money as she owed me over Tk 10,000 in outstanding house rent.”
Shilpi also said Asma was a strong lady who would not give up easily on anything.
She was surprised to learn the DMCH's claim that Asma died of renal failure, liver diseases and jaundice.
Sagar Hossain, another neighbour of Asma, could not remember the last time Asma complained of any pain other than those related to her pregnancy.
"Asma often returned home late in the night, climbing over a 13 feet high boundary wall," remembered Sagar.   
Her labour began two days before she was admitted to the DMCH.
“It took us time to carry her to the hospital as we sought financial assistance from locals and raised Tk 2,000 for her treatment,” said Taslima Begum, Asma's mother.
Three days into her labour, she walked a whole kilometre from her home to the Tongi bus station to get to the DMCH on October 10, Taslima said.
She had a caesarean early next morning.
Asma's addict husband Jahir left the hospital after the baby was born on the pretext of arranging money for Asma's medical expenses. He never showed up at the hospital after that.
Asma had her younger sister Sumi, 15, as the only attendant. Sumi, however, is mentally challenged, according to their parents.
Under the circumstances the sisters were left with no choice but to run away from the hospital in the early hours of October 12.
After they were caught, the DMCH charged Sumi with attempted baby theft and handed her over to police.  
The arrest of Sumi sent Asma into a rage, goading her to behave restively. The hospital authority kept her tied to the bed.
“She started behaving like a mad woman after Sumi was sent to jail, sometimes pulling my hair, sometimes requesting me to take her away from the hospital,” said Taslima.  
As Asma continued to agitate she was taken to the ICU by the hospital authority at 2:00 pm on October 13. About seven hours later she was declared dead.
Sumi is currently in prison. Locals are surprised as to what is taking law enforcers too long to understand that she is mentally challenged.    

 

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