Sordid Saga Of Pellet Victim: ‘I Try To Study, But My Eyes Pains A Lot’

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“I just came here because my father insisted otherwise I am tired of all this. My eye got shrunk after the second surgery and now I have to wait when my number comes up for another surgeries,”

Our Correspondent

Srinagar: During the past three and a half months, Firdous Ahmed Dar has seen through Asif’s eyes. While the pellets shattered the world around Firdous, Asif is the light that guides him out of darkness.

Dar, a resident of north Kashmir’s Sopore, was hit by pellets in both eyes on July 15 and has undergone three surgeries since then.

Pellet Victim File Photo: The Legitimate
Pellet Victim File Photo: The Legitimate

Doctors say there are “minimal chances” that he may be able to see from any of his eyes. An auto driver who was the only bread winner in his family, Firdous’s life has become as immobile as his vehicle.

“I used to run the whole family alone and had high dreams that I would serve my elderly parents but now they have to support me and I am dependent on them to walk even few steps,” Dar told Press Trust of Kashmir. “I used to start my work in the wee hours and return only after dusk, now I am just sitting at home all the time.”

Dar is one among the 40 civilians who have been hit by pellets in both of their eyes by armed forces since July 8 and there are more than 730 people in Valley who have been injured in one eye by the pellet guns. The loss or affected vision has not just turned their lives upside down but the story inside their homes has changed too.

Asif lives with his parents, two brothers who study in primary classes and a sister who is a student of 10th grade. Now his cousin, Asif, has been with him since pellets deprived him of the vision. From taking him for a stroll to helping him relieve, Asif has to be there all the time.

“What can he do himself now? I have been with him since day one and also accompanied him to AIIMS Delhi. He cannot move outside and his parents are too elder to provide him the support he needs. The family has no source of income right now,” Asif said.

For Abdul Majeed Bhat and his family, the days have been “nothing but depressing” since July 12 – the day when his son Zahid Ahmad was hit by pellets in the left eye. “It is just gloomy for me to see him restless all the time. It has taken a toll on the psyche of whole family,” Bhat, a resident of Krankshivan village of Sopore, said.

Zahid, 16, a 10th grade student was to appear in the annual board exams during this month but now he is facing difficulties by even looking at his notes. “I just cannot stay at one place. I become restless. I tried looking at the notes but it pains and it is difficult to see the lines,” said Bhat. He is still hopeful that he would be able to take the exams.

It is not the first tragedy to strike the Bhat’s family; last year Zahid’s mother lost her battle of life against cancer. Bhat’s elder son studies in 11th class and another dropped out in ninth grade. “I am with him (Zahid) all the time. There is no work now, and my other children have got affected too because of what happened to their brother,” Bhat said.

The pellet victims admitted to the ophthalmology unit of Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital have to undergo multiple surgeries in the eyes and in between there is a battle against the hope and despair. An 18-year-old from central Kashmir’s Budgam district, who would not give his name for the fear of police, says he does not want to go for the third surgery in his left eye because he fears he may lose the remaining eye sight to the fresh surgery.

“I just came here because my father insisted otherwise I am tired of all this. My eye got shrunk after the second surgery and now I have to wait when my number comes up for another surgeries,” he said.

But it is not just the loss of the vision that is haunting the people rendered disabled by the pellets, they know their lives are changed forever and now they have to remain dependent for little matters of life on someone.

“The friends remain in life as long as you are fine and fit. Now I am just dependent on my cousins, who are my support,” said Firdous. (PTK)


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