A 13-year-old boy’s fingers were crushed after he allegedly inserted his hand in a roti-making machine at a children’s remand home in Dongri.
Authorities at the remand home, which houses more than 300 children, have denied allegations that the boy and other children were forced to work inside the kitchen and that the accident occurred while he was making rotis.
While the boy’s fingers were saved thanks to timely medical intervention, the remand home authorities have suspended the cook responsible for handling the machine, accusing him of negligence.
The incident took place on Sunday morning. Rotis had just been prepared for the children and the boy went to touch it out of curiosity. “When other boys were cleaning the machine, the boy voluntarily put his right hand in the machine. He admitted the same in his statement that he gave it to police two days after the incident,” said Shankar Jadhav, superintendent of Dongri children’s home.
The machine crushed four fingers of the boy’s right hand and his screams alerted the cook and the supervisor of the home. He was rushed to JJ Hospital and is currently in stable condition.
“The fingers were fractured and blood supply to them had stopped. We have taken care of the fracture as well the blood circulation. However, the little finger is severely injured and we may have to amputate the upper part of the finger,” said Dr Rajat Kapoor, plastic surgeon at JJ Hospital, who treated the child.
The superintedent of the children’s home denied the boy had been forced to make rotis. “We only give two-hour work training to older children and never made any children work,” Jadhav said. He said the cook Vikram Khalambe has been suspended on charges of negligence. “He was supposed to stand there and supervise, but he was standing on the other side of the room. We are carrying out a thorough enquiry and its report will be soon sent to the higher authority for further action,” he said.
Formerly a Malad resident, the boy had been sent to the remand home a few months ago after getting separated from his family during a trip to Andhra Pradesh.