Solan burn victim Muskan adopted for treatment, social rehabilitation, education
SHIMLA- On April 7, HW had posted a message requesting people to extend help to save a little girl, Muskaan, who is struggling for her life at IGMC, Shimla after receiving over 50% burns as her father threw kerosene stove on her during a domestic quarrel. We immediately approached her and offered little help that we could and also posted a message on HW’s FB Page and Twitter requesting others to come ahead. We are happy to know that this little angel is now slowly recovering and has been adopted by the Umang Foundation for her treatment, education, and social rehabilitation
The message was shared a lot on social media but, you see; only a few actually appeared to help her. Other than some individuals including HW members, who visited Muskan to offer help, the issue was picked up by the Chairman of Umang Foundation, Ajai Shrivastva.
Also, Child Helpline Shimla (Helpline No. 1098) approached for the help on the same day and delivered immediate monetary assistance.
Ajai Shrivastva made sure this poverty stricken laborer family receives free medicines and food. Yesterday, Umang Foundation raised the issue regarding the lack of protection of rights and appropriate health services for the migrant laborers. Addressing a press conference today, Ajai Srivastava, chairman of the Foundation, announced that the organization will adopt ‘Muskan’ for her treatment, social rehabilitation and education.
Umang Foundation said that Muskan is struggling for her life in the Indira Gandhi Medical College hospital. Her father, who is suffering from mental sickness, all of a sudden spilled kerosene in the chullha (mud stove) in Solan, resulting in severe burns to her. The Foundation has urged the chief minister to create a policy to protect right to life of migrant labourers and their families by ensuring free hospitalization and treatment in case of any medical emergency.
A few days ago another girl child Shreya (8), daughter of a migrant labourer from U.P. had died of poisoning in the same hospital and her father had to sell out his small land to meet the expenses of her treatment. Thousands of poor migrant labourers from Bihar, U.P., Jharkhand and other states are playing a major role in the development of Himachal Pradesh. But when they or their family members need hospitalization, there is nobody to bear expenditure of the treatment. The support from hospitals in shape of medicines is negligible.
The Article 21 of the Indian Constitution guarantees right to life to every citizen of the country, and right to health is an inseparable part of right to life. It is a constitutional duty of the government to protect every fundamental right of individuals including right to life and health. The Supreme Court of India in its numerous judgments, including Pt. Paramnand Vs Union of India case (1990), has emphasized that it is an obligation on the government to protect life because it’s the most precious gift of God.
Ajai Srivastava, in a letter to chief minister Virbhadra Singh, said that the government must come out with a policy to provide free medical treatment to migrant labourers and their families. He suggested him to create an online data base and profile of all migrant labourers and their family members and issue identification number to every such individual because they don’t have BPL or IRDP cards. All civil hospitals should have a cell to take care of poor migrant labourer patients and their family members in need of hospitalization and ensure free treatment. Cases of medical emergency with migrant labourers and their family members are common in all the districts.
Sharing the horrifying tale of Muskan, he said that the incident occurred on 5th April when her mentally sick father immediately ran away from the spot after spilling out kerosene in the chullah. Muskan received severe burn injuries. On the same day she was admitted to IGMC. Her condition is still critical. She has an elder brother (11) and a sister of 16 months with her in the hospital. Her maternal uncle Roopesh, who repairs cycle punctures in Motihari district in Bihar, has come for help. Umang Foundation has ensured every humanitarian support to Muskan and others in the family. It has also decided to adopt little Muskan for her treatment, education and social rehabilitation.
Ajai Srivastava has also written to the District Magistrate of Solan for mental health examination of Muskan’s father under the provision of the Mental Health Act, 1987 and to ensure his treatment so that he does not harm himself or others in future.
We are thankful to all who came ahead to extend assistance to this poor family. However, we have serious question regarding HP Govt.’s handling of people suffering from mental disorders. Often, they are chases away from police station instead of referring them for proper checkup. Not only police, but people also lack awareness regarding mental health, and negligence on the part of our Govt. results in such disasters as it happened with Muskaan.