Riyaz Ahmad Bhat lived a comfortable life in the multi-storey house he owned in Karimabad village in Pulwama. A fruit grower and trader, he tried to provide the best education to his two teenaged sons, Asif and Adil. But for the past four months the only concern he has is for the blinded eyes of both his sons.
The right eyes of the siblings were damaged on September 11 when government forces fired pellet ammunition and teargas shells towards youth who were protesting against the ransacking of houses in the village by the government forces, Bhat said. Asif and Adil were taken to SMHS hospital in Srinagar where doctors operated on their right eyes twice in a couple of weeks.
“Despite undergoing two surgeries, none of them has regained vision in the right eye. Though doctors told me that one of them will regain 40 percent of vision and the other up to 50 percent, so far there has been no improvement,” the distressed father told Kashmir Reader at SMHS hospital.
“It is no more their education but the recovery of their eyesight that I am worried about. I am planning to take them outside the state for advanced treatment,” Bhat said. Asif, a Class 12 student, could not appear in his board exams this year while his elder brother Adil, who is in the first year of graduation, also could not sit in the college examinations. “Though we can see with our left eyes, we cannot stand any glare. If we look at a book for a few minutes, even by using lenses, it hurts our eyes and brings lots of tears. So I, too, decided not to appear (in the exams),” Adil said.
Since last evening, he said, the condition of his eye seems to be deteriorating. “I can’t even distinguish between shades of colours with this (left) eye,” he said. Asif, sitting next to him, said that it was sad or him to see his classmates sitting in exams while he could not. In the same breath he said he believed in destiny.—KR