Auto-rickshaw driver loses livelihood as bullet-injury of ‘90s claims his knees

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Srinagar: Having recovered from a bullet injury in 1990s during childhood, he would never have imagined that one day the wounds would resurface to haunt his life. But over two decades after being wounded in a cross firing in his native Nawa Kadal locality here, Nazir Ahmed Panzoo, an auto-rickshaw driver, is a crippled man with doctors saying that his injury has finally left his knees immobile.

It was 26 years ago when Panzoo, a then young boy, was hit by bullets in his lower limbs. Though after few months of hospitalization, he recovered, the old wounds have started to bleed in his life.

Being the sole bread earner of his family comprising wife and three young daughters, Panzoo who is in his 30s had been facing difficulty in movement for a few years. Though initially he ignored the pain and continued to work lest his “poor family dies of starvation”, his condition started to fester.

Within weeks, the man felt he couldn’t walk any further and was brought to Bones and Joints Hospital Barzulla.

The doctors diagnosed that both his knees have degenerated and that he would need to undergo “specialized surgery whereby his knee joints will be replaced through implant.”

But the surgery comes at a huge cost of around rupees half-a-million. The patient broke down before the doctors pleading that he couldn’t afford such costly treatment.  

Getting to know about his woeful tale, some doctors at B&J Barzulla resolved to give some respite. They said they would conduct his surgery free but that he will have to buy the costly artificial implants from open markets.

“Knee joint implant will cost around Rs two lakhs each which means he needs rupees four lakhs,” the doctors told Kashmir Observer.

The poor man didn’t even have a bank account than talk of any savings. It was on the advice of some doctors that he opened bank account J&K Bank, Brain Branch.

The doctors were hopeful that people would donate generously in the bank account in name of Nazir Ahmed Panzoo account number: 0229-040-8000-21747,  SBU21747 branch code JAKAO Nishat. But till now, public response has been meager.

Nazir says knowing his financial condition he avoided consulting doctor for all these years. “I avoided going to doctor for as long as I could bear and dedicated the time to earn for my family. But finally my immobility has paralyzed the life of my entire family. I don’t know what will happen next?” he asks as his family cries.

 

Auto Rickshaws gutted in fire will be compensated: Div Com

Srinagar: Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Mr. Baseer Ahmad Khan today said that Government will provide compensation to the owners of auto rickshaws which were set on fire in downtown area of Srinagar city yesterday.

Mr. Baseer Ahmad Khan said the  Chief Minister, Ms. Mehbooba Mufti has directed administration for immediate release of compensation in favour of sufferers as auto rickshaws were the only mean of their livelihood. Divisional Commissioner also directed concerned to indentify the culprits so that they could be punished under Court of law.(CNS)

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