Poverty, pain grip Mehrauli blast victim
Sheetal Rawat, 11, has a tongue that is 75 per cent damaged, eight shattered teeth and shrapnel lodged in her spine.delhi Updated: Jan 18, 2009 01:40 IST
Sheetal Rawat, 11, has a tongue that is 75 per cent damaged, eight shattered teeth and shrapnel lodged in her spine.
She lives with excruciating facial pain, has difficulty swallowing food and cannot speak clearly — all because her family does not have Rs 3 lakh needed for treatment to make her the bubbly little girl she used to be.
Her trauma began when shrapnel entered her
mouth during the Mehrauli bomb blast on September 27 last year.
Four months on, Sheetal still has not got the plastic surgery she needs to heal her wounds that make the pain finally go away. “Bahut dard hota hai, par kya karoon. Kya yeh theek nahi hoga kabhi? (It pains a lot but what can I do. Will this pain ever go?),” said the Class VII student of Kendriya Vidyalaya number 2.
It’s not that her parents haven’t tried. After the blast, Sheetal was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences’ (AIIMS) Trauma Centre ICU for a week. From there, she was referred to the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery at AIIMS, where the doctors did not take the case seriously, said her family.
“We were pushed from one department to another, from one doctor to another for two months without results. No one even listened to her problem, forget about bothering to treat her,” said her mother Pushpa, a housewife.
In desperation, the Rawats went to a private hospital where they were given an estimate of Rs 3 lakh. “I am a driver. Where will I get this huge amount? I have never felt so helpless,” said her father Bachchan Singh Rawat, who lives in Arya Nagar near Mehrauli with his wife and three children.
When contacted, the AIIMS administration agreed to look into the matter. “Patients expect miracles overnight and often don’t come back. Such treatments take time. If they bring her back, of course we will treat her,” said Dr D. K. Sharma, medical superintendent, AIIMS, which will charge her just for consumables needed for reconstructive surgery.