Dire straits: Family loses breadwinner, savings

Covid victim had taken two jobs to support family financially; now, with two months’ rent due, his wife wants a job, appeals to government for assistance

Family of a deceased covid victim are struggling to make ends meet after losing their breadwinner. The deceased, Giri Krishna, had taken up two jobs during the pandemic to support his family financially. Giri was infected during the peak of the second wave and died despite being hospitalised.

Krishna was a 40-year-old resident of Indiranagar. He lived in a rented home with his wife and two children, aged three and one. Before his death, Krishna was admitted in a hospital for four days. The bill amounted to over Rs 2.5 lakh. His wife, Roopa, sold her ornaments to pay the bill.

“He was working day and night until April. He started feeling tired on May 1 and had taken some medicines and a break from work to rest. On May 3, his condition worsened and we visited a clinic nearby. They gave him an injection and asked him to rest. A couple of days after that he started to experience breathlessness and we rushed to the clinic again. They asked him to take the covid test and a CT scan,” Roopa said.

After getting him tested, Krishna’s family was informed to look for an ICU bed immediately. Krishna’s reports indicated that the infection was severe, Roopa said. After a day’s struggle the family could arrange an oxygen cylinder for Krishna. However, by the evening, Krishna had already used up the cylinder’s contents and his oxygen saturation had dropped from 85 per cent to 55.


With much difficulty, a bed was arranged in a private hospital in Whitefield. However, Krishna was in a critical state by then. On May 9, Roopa was told that her husband’s health was deteriorating further and she rushed to the hospital. In the evening, she was informed that he was no more.

I have studied until the 10th grade. I’m ready to take up any work. I have to give my children a good education

–Roopa, Giri’s wife

After the death of their breadwinner, Roopa had to spend all their savings to pay the hospital bill. The family also tested positive and was advised to remain in isolation.

Now, she is looking for a job to pay their rent, which has been due since the last two months. “I have studied until the 10th grade. I’m ready to take up any work. I have to give my children a good education,” Roopa said.

Like herself, many people have suffered grave losses during the pandemic, Roopa said. “If the government could help families like mine, it would be really helpful. Any compensation, even if not monetary… at least a job to survive… something to hold on to for hope would be great,” Roopa said.

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Sagar Biswas

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