nChotu Banra's eyes glistened with hope when eminent plastic surgeon R. Bharat touched his only daughter Chand's cleft lips and promised to restore her to health. Chand was referred to Brahmananda Narayana Hrudayalaya for surgery. Chotu, a daily wage earner from Barabanki in Ghatshila, said, "Hum bahut khus hain. Meri beti theek ho jayegi, mujhe paisa bhi nahin dena padega (I am happy today. My daughter will be cured and I wouldn't even have to spend a penny)."
nFarha Kauser, 18, daughter of retired Tata Motors employee Abdul Rahman and resident of Zakirnagar in Mango, was filled with excitement as paramedics measured her left arm. Her hand had to be amputated after a road mishap 10 years ago when she came under a speeding auto. She will get her caliper on Wednesday.
If numbers are anything to go by, then the goal of Jamshedpur MP Ajoy Kumar to wipe off cleft lip and palate cases and support orthopaedically challenged persons in East Singhbhum is well on track.
The mission conceptualised by the former SP and jointly organised by the district health department, Marwari Yuva Manch and Operation Smile was inaugurated at Agrasen Bhavan on Tuesday.
On Day 1 of the four-day free camp, over 250 cases were registered for artificial limb and calipers until 3.30pm at Agrasen Bhavan in Sakchi. Around 18 cases of cleft lip and palate cases registered for surgeries to be carried out at various hospitals in the city.
"It was a project close to my heart ever since my election as MP. I am happy to receive support from my friends in Marwari Yuva Manch and the district health department. Ek umar ke baad insaan ko kuch aisa karna chahiye ki maut ke baad kamse kam char aadmi mil jaye ghat le jane ke liye (After a certain age a man should do some good work so that he gets four persons to take him for cremation). This is an effort on my part towards this direction without any political interest," said Ajoy Kumar.
He promised to contribute his next year's allotment of MP funds for artificial limb fitting in polio cases and surgeries for those suffering from clubfoot. In clubfoot cases, the affected foot points downward and twists inward. If both feet are "clubbed", the soles of the feet may face each other. The ankle joints and bones, muscles and ligaments of the foot may be abnormal.
The cleft lips and palate operations will be done at Brahmananda Narayana Hrudayalaya, Tata Motors Hospital and Tata Main Hospital.
There will be 10 operations per week until no further cases are registered with the district health department.
"A girl born with cleft lip and palate has 90 per cent chances of being killed by her parents due to problems in getting her married. I would like to make sure there is no girl child with cleft lip and palate in the district," added the MP.
East Singhbhum civil surgeon Jagat Bhushan Prasad said according to a survey, around 800 cases of orthopaedically challenged cases fit for artificial limb and hand implant were recorded in the district.
"We want to cover over 90 per cent of the cases during the drive. Similarly, in cleft lip and palate cases, the number hovers in the range of 250 and we hope to cover the entire number through Operation Smile," said Prasad.