A five-year-old student of Don Bosco High School in Borivli (West) has partially lost vision after a classmate accidentally jabbed a pencil in his right eye.
This happened on Monday when the two Class 1 students were copying notes from the blackboard.
“The victim was walking ahead to have a better look at the board and tapped his classmate’s back,” said school principal Fr George Carlos.
“The other child, who was writing, turned around suddenly and accidentally jabbed the pencil into the victim’s eye.”
The victim was rushed to Karuna Hospital where doctors diagnosed a corneal tear and complicated cataract and conducted an emergency surgery.
After the dressing was removed on Wednesday, the doctors found that the boy has partially lost vision.
“He has suffered a severe loss of vision due to an injury in the posterior segment of the eye, ” said a doctor at the hospital, requesting anonymity.
The boy was referred to specialised care to check if the damage could be reversed.
The parents of both children have agreed that it was an accident and have not lodged any complaint with the police or the school authorities.
Describing it as a freak incident, the school principal said there was no animosity between the boys. “The child who hurt the victim is also traumatised,” Carlos said.
The incident highlights the ill effects of the skewed student-teacher ratio in city schools, claimed the parents’ body.
“A teacher can only effectively manage 20 children in a class. But in Mumbai, many schools have, at times, 60 students in one class,” said Arundhati Chavan, president of the United Forum of Parent Teachers’ Association. “Often three students are crammed into benches made for two.”
This particular class had 49 students and the teacher was present in the classroom at the time of the incident.
A day after the incident, the parents of both boys met the principal and members of the school’s Parent Teachers' Association. “The parents have accepted that the incident was an accident,” said Devendra Singh Kohli, a PTA member who was present at the meeting.
(The identities of both children have been withheld for ethical reasons)