She isn’t in the police and she can’t issue official orders. All she has is a stick in her hand, a whistle around her neck, and a stern demeanour. But 57-year-old Dorris Francis knows how important her job is to rush-hour commuters on the accident-prone Aitbaar Pushta intersection at the Delhi-Ghaziabad border on NH24. Dorris lost her 17-year-old daughter, Nikki, eight years ago, after a speeding car crashed into their auto rickshaw at this very spot.
Dorris didn’t let the demise of her daughter go in vain, and vowed to do her bit in her memory. If the traffic was well managed that day, Nikki’s fate would have been different. Dorris stands at that intersection every day and manages the traffic, along with other cops in the area, with an ardent aim that no one should suffer like Nikki did. No major accidents have taken place since she took charge and that speaks volumes about her dedication. In 2015, even Akhilesh Yadav, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh acknowledged her hard work and praised Dorris at an event.
After several years, facing the rain, sun, and smog, this traffic volunteer has been detected with stomach cancer and her family is not financially stable to afford the treatment. Her health deteriorated during Diwali and she was diagnosed with cancer. She was admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences where she was operated upon on November 23. Her younger daughter sold off her bike for Rs. 20,000 and her husband planned to pledge their house in Khoda for Rs. 25,000.
When this news about Dorris reached Akhilesh Yadav he immediately released Rs. 6.5 lakh for the treatment. The communication sent to the medical superintendent of AIIMS also stated that the hospital shall assume responsibility for her treatment and furnish every detail of the treatment.
“We are overwhelmed and thankful that the Chief Minister intervened to help her out. His gesture will help us get treatment for my mother. Other residents have also supported us and stood by us in testing times,” said Monika, Dorris’ daughter. “The kind of emotional and financial support I received from the general public is overwhelming. I will be going to my daily routine in traffic management at the Khoda Cut the day I am declared fit by doctors. I have further pledged to make myself available for traffic duty at any point in Ghaziabad where my services will be required,” said the brave traffic volunteer. Dorris Francis is known as the ‘traffic heroine’ in the area was even featured in a BBC documentary called ‘Unsung Heroes’.
Social Samajwadi would like to thank Akhilesh Yadav for showing a ray of hope in such times of despair.