Friday, 2 September 2011

Eknath Khadse seeks govt help for ailing animal rights activist

Leader of the opposition in the state legislative assembly, Eknath Khadse, on Tuesday demanded that the state government intervene to ensure that proper medical care is provided to the famous animal rights activist, Lila Parulekar, who is bedridden and living in dire, unhygienic conditions.

Parulekar, 75, a full-time director in a leading Pune-based Marathi daily, is the daughter of the legendary newspaper founder, Nanasaheb Parulekar.
The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, who visited the ailing Parulekar at her Queen’s Garden bungalow on Sunday, told DNA the private security guards prevented him from entering the premises despite informing them about his position. 

He said that after some arguments, the guards allowed him to enter the bungalow and visit the lady in their presence. According to Khadse, Parulekar was bedridden with little medical attention and the conditions in which she was living were “horrific”. 

 Lila Parulekar

“Parulekar told me that she has not given any instructions about not allowing people to meet her,” Khadse said. 

Parulekar told him that her property should be organised under one trust and revenue from it be provided for welfare of animals. The state government should ensure that Parulekar’s wish is granted, Khadse demanded. 

At a press conference on Tuesday, honorary animal welfare officer of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), Manoj Oswal, alleged that Parulekar is a victim of land sharks as she owns considerable property in Pune and Mahabaleshwar, besides personal funds.

Alleged that there was a conspiracy to get all her assets transferred, Oswal said he was also targeted for trying to help her and a case of trespassing was filed against him when he took her to a hospital for treatment. 

According to Oswal, about 200 dogs, mostly sick, are roaming around in Parulekar’s bungalow. No care is being taken to ensure cleanliness, he said. 

“Lila is seriously ill and her immunity is very low. Even a strong and healthy man can get sick in such an environment,” he said. 

Along with Oswal, city builder Ravindra Barhate demanded that Parulekar be immediately shifted to a hospital for good medical attention. “Her well-wishers and friends should be allowed to meet her. An inquiry should be conducted by the criminal investigation department about the false complaints filed against Oswal and others,” he demanded. 

When a group of journalists visited Parulekar’s bungalow, they were prevented by the security guards from meeting her. An animal welfare activist from Panchgani, Pranoti Vyas, who accompanied the group, was allowed to enter the premises and speak to Parulekar. 

According to Vyas, Parulekar said she was living in fear as the people around her were not taking care of her and were not allowing her to speak to outsiders. Vyas said she found Parulekar’s bed had not been cleaned for days together.

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