The sole source of entertainment for many cancer patients, from economically weak sections, who come to Mumbai to be treated at the Tata Memorial Hospital is the free Wi-Fi at Mumbai’s Dadar Railway Station. The cancer patients are tethered to the free wireless internet connection provided by Railtel and Google and the signal is available at 17 railway stations across Mumbai, according to the Indian Express.
Krishna Shingare, a resident of Yavatmal, who is undergoing treatment at the Tata Memorial Hospital says that the free wireless internet connection available at the Dadar station is the only source of entertainment available to him. Shingare’s left leg had recently been amputated to stop the spread of bone cancer. Last week Shingare had spent 30 minutes at the railway station to download a 670-MB Hindi movie and walked back to the dharamshala where he stays to watch the movie on his phone with his wife Swati.
Swati told the Indian Express that, ”Shingare goes to to the hospital at 6 AM and waits for his turn at the hospital”. She added that her husband gets frustrated as he does not have anything to do in the evening.
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25-year-old blood cancer patient Abdul Rehman comes to the station to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi provided at the railway station. Rehman sits in a corner, plugs in his earphones opens WhatsApp and replies to a stream of messages as a part of his daily routine. Rehman, a resident of Cooch Behar in West Bengal, stays in a nearby dharamshala. Rehman who is undergoing chemotherapy says that the only thing he looks forward to every day after returning from the hospital is the free Wi-Fi.
Ranjeet Kumar, whose mother is suffering from stomach cancer, says that he uses the free Wi-Fi available at the railway station to watch Kapil Sharma videos as this is the only thing that makes him laugh these days.
Over 40,000 cancer patients come to Mumbai every year from Nepal, Bangladesh and all over India. Most stay near Tata Memorial Hospital in economical flats or dharamshalas which dot the cityscape close to the Dadar Railway Station.