On the night of lights, many nearly lost sight


137 cases reported; fewer but more serious injuries than last year

Rita(19) and her husband, 25 year old Rajan, would have never imagined that this Diwali would become so tragic for them. On Diwali night, when Rita was lighting a diya, her saree caught fire. On seeing her in flames, her husband, Rajan ran to save her and in turn also got burn injuries.

While Rita received 100 percent burn injuries, Rajan received 20 per cent burns. "The residents of Desu Majra in Mohali, are admitted to the Burns ICU at the Government Medical and Hospital, Sector 32 where Rita is in a critical condition," say doctors.

Similarly, seven-year-old Geeta is also in critical condition at the PGIMER after she sustained 70 per cent burns during Diwali celebrations.

As per the doctors, the number of children getting injured during Diwali is fewer compared to previous years, the overall cases have increased substantially. Most injuries were due to crackers, especially rockets.

At PGIMER's Advanced Eye Centre, 24 patients of fire cracker-related injuries were presented till today noon. Of these 16 patients were discharged after treatment. Eight patients including three children and five adults were admitted in the wards for surgical procedures.

Rahul, a 12-year-old resident of Kharar, severly damaged his left eye as he was lighting a cracker. "It happened within seconds. We heard him crying all of a sudden and before we could save him, it had hit him in the eye," said Surinder Kumar, Rahul's uncle.

Despite massive campaigning against burning of fire crackers on Diwali, the celebrations of the festival of lights, yet again turned tragic for as many as 140 families in the city with an equal number of eye injury and burn cases reported at the three government hospitals in the city.

By Wednesday afternoon, 137 cases of eye injuries and burn cases caused by firecrackers were reported at PGI, GMCH-32 and GMSH-16.

... contd.

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