Kashmir: AIIMS last hope as they fight for sight

Five patients from the Kashmir Valley are undergoing treatment at AIIMS to treat severe eye injuries.

Written by Naveed Iqbal | New Delhi | Published: July 27, 2016 4:55 am
kashmir, pellet guns, pellet gun injury, eye injury, peelet gun eye injury, kashmir protest, AIIMS, kashmir news, india news Hospitals in Kashmir are overwhelmed, with hundreds of wounded patients pouring in as it reels from days of clashes. Image for representational purpose.

TILL JUST the other day Firdous drove an auto-rickshaw in Sopore town in Kashmir Valley to earn his living. He was the sole earner in his family. The 25-year-old was injured during a protest at Mazbugh, Sopore, on July 15, and is now one of the five patients from the Valley undergoing treatment at AIIMS with severe eye injuries.

“He is still a little restless; he wants to talk,” says Firdous’s cousin, who has accompanied him to Delhi. He adds that Firdous understands this may be his last chance — “if he does not recover his sight here (at AIIMS), he will never get it back”. Firdous interrupts: “I have been driving an auto for five years. I can’t do that when I can’t see.”

His medical report says he has severe injuries from metallic pellets in both eyes.

A few paces down, in another room of Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences at AIIMS, school students Junaid, from Qazigund in south Kashmir, and Zahid, from Sopore in north Kashmir, lie opposite each other in a darkened room. Zahid was injured by pellets fired at protesters in Sopore town on July 19.

Junaid was brought by his family to AIIMS since there was no way of taking him to Srinagar for treatment amid the protests.

His attendants, who refuse to be identified, say that after spending some time at Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital, they were referred to Delhi on priority. Junaid sits up in his bed, attentive, but does not join the conversation.

“The (Srinagar hospital) HoD told us that we were being referred to Delhi, and they arranged the flight. We came here on July 23 and, since then, they have been under observation and treatment,” one attendant says.

At the AIIMS Trauma Centre, Insha, 15, is scheduled to undergo a surgery in the next two days. “She is doing well. We plan to conduct the surgery either tomorrow or the day after. We need to repair the wound and it will be reconstructive surgery. Otherwise she is stable,” Dr Deepak Aggarwal, Professor, Neurosurgery, AIIMS, says.

Insha has a pellet injury on her forehead and has developed an infection after her family reportedly tried to remove the pellet by hand before she was taken to a hospital.

AIIMS spokesperson Dr Amit Gupta says the others have been under investigation and undergone minor procedures. “They will be admitted for a week more to study their progress. They are doing well,” he says.

The youngest, Asif, 14, from Khanabal, Anantnag, underwent surgery on Tuesday. His father comes to check up on the other patients from the Valley as doctors removed pellets from his son’s body. “Asif has several pellets in his upper body and one eye. Please pray for him,” the father says.

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  1. K
    Jul 27, 2016 at 5:59 pm
    Why Indian Tax Payers should pay for their treatment, when they have acted against the country, and when they have stoned and killed our army soldiers? Let these traitors go to stan.
    1. S
      Jul 27, 2016 at 5:43 pm
      When thousands of people gather and throw stones at army bunkers and vehicles, just imagine the kind of pressure they will be into, even they are humans saving this country day and night from terrorists, they do have families, kids and more precious a life which they have already sacrificed for the country, when these s protest for a dead terrorist and try to snatch weapons from the army, what do you expect. If you spit fire on indian army do you expect them to shower petals on you, No you get pellets in return, Hats off to the arm for killing the mad dog called Burhan Wani.Jai Hind
      1. S
        Satinder Singh
        Jul 27, 2016 at 5:44 am
        Why should we pay (AIIMS establishment in Kashmir) as tax payers of India for their protest injuries, anti India slogans and their support and protection for terrorist.
        1. A
          Amar Akbar
          Jul 27, 2016 at 5:52 pm
          Not one kashmiri terrorist should be allowed in to India and that given medical treatment. The only place they should be banished (air dropped) is Tora Bora. Rascals and thugs. What were they doing in the area where stone pelting was on. .
          1. A
            Adrian Akau
            Jul 27, 2016 at 7:04 pm
            The use of pellet guns by to shoot out the eyes of people is government terrorism. The government of India cannot expect the people of Kashmir to be trusting of them if they shoot out their eyes
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