Kendrapara, Dec 17: The family of a cancer patient here, including his wife, has deserted him, fearing that they would get cancer if they stay with him.
As per Hindu tenets, marriage is a sacred relationship that is not limited to this life alone, but extends across seven or more lives. A woman or man is expected to remain loyal to their spouse sharing sorrows and happiness come what may.
But in this case the woman deserted her husband fearing that she would get cancer from her husband.
Official sources said Bijay Kumar Sahu, 57, a resident of Rajnagar of Raghdeipur GP in Derabish block, was deserted by his wife and son, after he was diagnosed with throat cancer.
Bijay said that he was maintaining his wife, daughter and son through his real estate business and had built a house for them. He said he married of his daughter Tapaswini, and had to sell his house and spend all his money to fight a dowry case filed by the former wife of his son Jayanta Kumar Sahu.
He said that after he was diagnosed with cancer nine months back his family started avoiding him.
“My son and his wife barred me from touching their daughter fearing that she would get cancer. Later, my son and daughter-in-law left, and now they are staying in Cuttack,” said Bijay.
Bijay did not mind this as he thought his wife, Khira Sahu, would look after him, but his wife too deserted him and she is now staying with his son’s family in Cuttack.
“A fortnight after my son left, my wife told me that she cannot take care of me as she feared that she would get cancer. Although I and our neighbours tried to change her mind she did not listen and left me,” said Bijay.
“Now I am alone. My wife and son changed their phone numbers after deserting me. Fortunately, my fellow villagers are helping me, providing medicine and food. My house was sold, but the new owner has given a room for me,” Bijay said.
“Nabakishore Sahu, a relative and fellow villager, has been taking care of me. He supplies food daily as I am unable to cook myself. I am fortunate that my fellow villagers helps me. They get me medicine and dress my wound,” said Bijay, with tears in his eyes.
Neighbours said Bijay became depressed after his family deserted him. Their absence is more painful for him than the disease itself, they said.
Although the villagers tried to convince his wife not to leave Bijay during his last days she left as she feared that she would get cancer if she stays with him.
“We told Bijay’s wife and his son’s family that cancer is not contagious. But they did not listen, said Golekha Chandr Mallick, a friend of Bijay.
The villagers said that if Bijay’s family comes back and cares for him he may survive for some more time. His family’s desertion has depressed him and there is every possibility that Bijay might commit suicide, they said.