Heart rending story of Adivasi parents who decided to donate the eyes of their 2-year-old daughter

The girl had sustained a fatal injury while playing at home on Friday morning at her home in Gumla, about 100 km from Ranchi

Heart rending story of Adivasi parents who decided to donate the eyes of their 2-year-old daughter
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VP Sharan

That the tribals of Jharkhand have distinctive moral values was reflected in an extraordinary and heart rending story of Adivasi parents who reached out to a popular eye hospital to donate the eyes of their 2-year-old daughter, Baby Vanshika, who had died on way to a hospital in Ranchi from Gumla. The tragic and rather unbelievable occurrence took place on Friday.

The sequence of events involving the tribal parents made headlines in all the local prominent dailies on Sunday, which narrated how the courageous parents decided to tell the eye hospital about their keen desire to see their only child ‘alive’ by donating her eyes for someone who might benefit from the eye donation. Towards this end, they did not lose time in trying to procure their daughter’s death certificate.

The girl had sustained injuries while playing at home on Friday morning at her home in Gumla, about 100 km from Ranchi. Her parents, Chandra Prakash and Sulekha Panna, took a car and rushed to Ranchi for the best possible treatment. However, when they reached a good children’s hospital in Ranchi, the doctors declared the baby brought dead.

The parents, instead of waiting for a death certificate, rushed to an eye hospital to donate her eyes with tears in their eyes. By that time it was already midnight, and Dr Bharti Kashyap, the director of the hospital, a noted and senior eye surgeon, informed the media about the couple’s gesture, saying that this kind of event had happened for the first time during her entire medical career.

Heart rending story of Adivasi parents who decided to donate the eyes of their 2-year-old daughter

Dr Kashyap said that on one or two occasions earlier, they did encounter unusual circumstances for eye donations. On one occasion, they went to collect eyes from a graveyard after a man lifted his daughter, Shreya, from her grave for eye donation.

“Once we had gone to collect eyes of newly-wed woman named Neha Bajoria, a victim of derailment of Rajdhani Express. But this case is exceptional in the sense that for the first time parents reached the hospital for eye donation without even waiting for a death certificate. This is unique in the realm of eye donation,” Dr Kashyap said.

Explaining the condition of the deceased, Dr Kashyap said that the baby’s corneas were removed and preserved by the hospital’s cornea specialist, Dr Nidhi Gadkar in such a way that there was no disfigurement of the face at all. The corneas would soon be transplanted to two needy cornea blind patients, she said.

Confirming the incident, the mother of the deceased girl, Sulekha Panna, who works as a cashier at Gramin Bank in Nagfeni in Gumla, said with tears rolling down profusely from her eyes that the girl was her only child. She had fallen from a balcony and suffered a fatal injury, she said, unable to say anything more as her throat choked up.

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Published: 19 Jul 2020, 3:40 PM
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