Roads in Sarvardharma sector B of Bhopal, where children could have been sighted playing on a normal day, are silent. The community parks, which used to be packed, particularly in the evenings, barely witness any visitors these days.
Children mostly remain indoors and if they try to venture out, elders stop them. The reason for the restrictions is not any exam or competitive test. It is dengue!
The fact that number of casualties due to dengue is abnormally high this season, and most the victims of the disease have either been children or youngsters, has put the elders on high alert in this middle-class locality. They simply don’t want to take any chances with their children.
The widows in the houses are covered with detachable plastic nets, people sleep within mosquito nets, besides using mosquito repellents and creams. The residents have also stopped keeping water for their pets as they fear that the dengue larvae might breed there.
The locality is one of the worst affected areas from dengue. Located in worst-affected Kolar area, where about 150 cases of dengue have been reported, almost every other house in Sarvardharma has suspected dengue patient. Three people from Kolar have lost their lives to the disease.
Chandra Shekhar Sharma, a resident of the area, doesn’t allow his children to go out and play as he is scared that they might get dengue. “I am being extra careful as I have had a horrible experience last year. Both my children had to be hospitalised due to dengue.”
One finds every kind of mosquito repellent in Chandra Shekhar’s house — creams, coils, mats etc. “A few days back, I saw a mosquito in our hall. I immediately went to a nearby shop and bought a ‘racket’ used to kill mosquitoes. This is how we react to mosquitoes these days,” he added.
Another resident of the same locality, P Sushila, who underwent treatment for dengue and recovered, said, “I can never forget those 10 days. I wish no one should suffer from such deadly disease ever.”
Dr Amit Agarwal, a paediatrician, who runs his clinic in the locality, said “With the arrival of winter season, cases of dengue would reduce but in the month of October, I used to treat at least 4-5 suspected patients of dengue almost every day.”