Grappling with the dark tragedy that has befallen him, Basit has now set up a stall for barbeques outside his home to sustain his livelihood. His dreams have shattered, and the life full of ambitions has slipped down to the battle for survival. No one even turned to help him to overcome this ordeal. In this fight of survival he is standing alone and unfortunately adding burden to his family.
Sopore: In this congested locality of Raheem Sahib in apple town Sopore, the five member family of young Basit is living a traumatic life. The environs of the shabby house are sober and calm. The dejection is visible on the faces of all five members. And the younger son Basit is sitting in the corner of his room remorsefully. He is one among the hundreds of victims of pellet injuries during the summer uprising of 2016 against the killing of South Kashmir’s top militant Burhan Wani on July 8 in an encounter with government forces.
While many people termed the 2016 as the year of mass blinding, the government estimates suggest that around 200 people have lost complete eye sight due to pellet injuries while more than 10000 people including minors and females have suffered minor or major damage to their eyes.
Basit, a young boy has also lost his left eye to the pellets and is in a deep well of depression. Emotionally disturbed Basit recounts the horror of August 5: “The town was under curfew but no untoward incident had happened so the uneasy calm was prevailing under the thick presence of government forces. However, in afternoon we heard some noise outside and my mother asked me to find out the reasons of commotion. As I ventured out I spotted a feud between the security forces and the local youths of my area. As I walked out amid this commotion I still remember at few metres of distance from the main road of my house suddenly something hot, like an electric current struck to my face and ruptured my eyes.
“I felt unconscious and recovered at sub district hospital Sopore. Here the pall of gloom descended over my family surrounding me on my bed. Initially it was a battle for survival, and my face was covered in bandage with both my eyes shut. I could only recognize my wailing parents and relatives through their voice. The doctors at the hospital shifted me to SKIMS Srinagar for specialized treatment where my eye was operated thrice. Unfortunately, doctors failed to regain the lost eye sight and eventually gave up on my left eye.”
Basit is presently living with this harsh reality and is feeling burden for his poor parents. A bus conductor by profession, Basit tried once to return to his daily chorus of activities, but partial blindness is becoming a major hurdle for him.
Though he was meagrely contributing to his family but he always preferred to live financially independent. Grappling with the dark tragedy that has befallen him, Basit has now set up a stall for barbeques outside his home to sustain his livelihood. His dreams have shattered, and the life full of ambitions has slipped down to the battle for survival. No one even turned to help him to overcome this ordeal. In this fight of survival he is standing alone and unfortunately adding burden to his family.