when words play tragic games


the following story - a true one- would have made you smile, if it did not affect a child's life.

pawan is a class III student that comes to our Lohar Camp Primary programme. he is a bright boy and an eager learner. He comes from a very poor family: his father pulls a rickshaw and hos mother cleans home.

All seems well with this young fellow except a slight limp, and unsteady gait, and sudden falls. When you look closely at his ankle that is still not healed, you can see a huge gap.

Almost a year back, an asbestos sheet fell on little pawan's foot in the municpal school he attends. After a couple of days of home remedies, his parents took him to safdarjung hospital as the pain was excruciating and the ankle swollen. pawan was kept in hospital for many weeks but the anke did not seem to be getting better.

One day a doctor came and told the family that their son needed support. The bewildered family not quite comprehending what was meant and too frightened to ask, simply thought that what was needed was the support of of some important person. They simply took their son home.

When Gita, our teacher came to us with pawan's story we tried to make sense of what had happened and to our horror understood that what the doctor meant was that pawan's ankle needed some form of prosthetic support!

pawan will soon be taken back to hospital and we hope to be bale to get him the care he needs.