“Aankh jane ke baad mera beta school jane se bhi darta hai. Pichle dhai mahine se wo school nahi gaya. (After losing an eye, my son is afraid of going to school. Since last two-and-half-months he has not gone to school),” said Sherbano Khan (32).
Her seven-year-old son, Sohail lost an eye after he injured it in a fight at school. His teacher, who was not present at the time of the fight, neither gave him any medical assistance nor sent him to a hospital.
Sherbano, a homemaker and mother of three, said she does not have grievance against the child who beat his son. “Children fight. But when the injury was so serious then the teacher should have ensured that Sohail got medical treatment,” she said.
Sohail was made to sit in school for two hours after the injury. “After the school was over for the day, the teacher asked him to go home with his sister (Shabnam, who studies in the same class),” said Sherbano.
Sohail was shifted from Sion hospital to KEM hospital at Parel as specialised facilities were not available at Sion hospital.
KEM doctors operated upon his eye, but retina was damaged. Doctors have suggested that Sohail should be taken to Hinduja hospital at Mahim for another surgery.
“Only after the second surgery we will come to know whether my son will be able to see at all. Besides, it [the second] surgery will cost us around Rs 36,000. Where do we get that kind of money?” asked Sherbano.
The school and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation have shrugged off their responsibility and Sherbano has asked the Maharashtra government to bear Sohail’s medical expenses.
“Whenever I go to the school, the principal tells us that the kids had a fight. What can we do?” she says.
Sohail has a younger brother and his father Azad Khan works at a burial ground.