Noida: A shocking case of two unmarried girls, battling the grief of their father’s death, caging themselves in their Noida apartment, for nearly seven months, came to light on Tuesday.
The sisters - Anuradha Behl, 41, and Sonali, 38 - were forcefully rescued by the police with help from NGO activists today from their flat located in the posh Sector 29 of the city. Both were in a state of acute starvation.
Police, acting on information from neighbours, had to break open the door, Superintendent of Police Anant Dev said.
The women, left to fend for themselves and in a state of utter loneliness and depression, have been admitted to the nearby Kailash Hospital.
Anuradha suffered from multiple organ weakness due to insufficient vitamin intake, said Sarika Chandra, the attending doctor at Kailash Hospital. Sonali is also in a state of deep depression, said the doctor.
Anuradha has done her Ph.D after completing her course in chartered accountancy. She had left her accountancy practice after the parents` death. Sonali also has doctorate in history.
"When we opened the door, everyone started vomiting because of the foul smell. The elder woman was half nude on her bed. She could not speak and did not know what was going on. So I called Kailash Hospital," social activist Usha Thakur, who accompanied police, told reporters.
According to Vijay Prakash, Anuradha was still unconscious while being brought out of the house, but Sonali was stable and could manage to speak.
When the door was opened, the women asked for water.
As per reports, their father Colonel (retired) OP Behl had passed away two years ago. Neighbours say that the girls had gone into a shell after the tragedy and had stopped coming out of their flat. They had lost their mother earlier. They used to get food home delivered from a nearby canteen but that too stopped after sometime.
Initially neighbours thought it was best to leave them alone, thinking that they need time to come to terms with the loss. In the interim their pet dog also died, pushing them farther from the society.
But when the girls completely stopped coming out of their home, the RWA sought help from the police.
Their younger brother Vipin Behl, who lives in Sector-50 of Noida with his wife and children, and a maternal uncle used to look after them. But after falling into depression, the two sisters were not cooperating with them, said inspector Vijay Prakash of Sector-20 police station.
"After the death of their parents, Vipin and a maternal uncle used to support them. When their savings exhausted and the sisters stopped cooperating with them, the brother and the uncle dragged their feet," the official said.
"That situation forced the sisters into isolation. Taking a note of severe isolation the Residents Welfare Association officials contacted social activist Usha Thakur after they failed to persuade the sisters to open the door," the official added.
An NGO activist who entered their flat today alongwith the police told a news channel that the girls were wearing sweaters, suggesting that they had not changed clothes ever since their father died last winter. There was no electricity or water in the taps of the house.
The tragic case has posed many questions about the isolated lives we live in our cities.