Prakash was born in Thana Village in the Karnali Region of Nepal. He is 12 years old and is in class 8. He is the eldest child of his parents who are both illiterate. He has a family of 8 members with 5 siblings. Four month ago on a gloomy day he missed school because he had to go to the mountains (Lekha) along with the villagers to bring wooden logs for a roof of the new house. He was one of them who were carrying the central beam of the roof. The log was freshly cut so it was immensely heavy. His team carried the log from the cutting area to the ridgeline and past the pasture they slide down the stream. When they slide the log down the narrow stream, Prakash happened to be in the front. Suddenly the log slipped and loose control and snapped Prakash’s right leg instantly.

Takka and Jagat two teenagers from the same village when they heard the roaring of a child in their vicinity they rushed to the seen and took control. Takka the older one took his scarf and rapped around the terrifying injury. The whole ground was covered with twigs and leafs and had turned in to a bloody puddle. The blood was rapidly spraying out of the child’s leg. Eyewitness Takka told me despite all these Prakash had no tears in his eyes and he had only one worry in his mind, he didn’t want his dad to know as he thought he was going to get serious scolding. Those two teen-agers carried the injured child for two hours and reached the top end of the village. They called for help but no one arrived as everyone had gone to work in the field.

So Takka decided to take the injured child to Thana Chauta, which is the center of the village. There arrived a local medic Ali Sir who has been working in that as a medic for more then a decade. When he inspected the wound he knew it was fatal. A crowd of people accumulated with in no time, some started shivering where as some commenced screaming. Prakash in the background could hear few people chattering with whisper saying he is going to loose that leg. Once the medic decided it wasn’t locally promising to remedy his leg, he suggested the villagers to take him to the district hospital. The district hospital is with in 5 hour walking distance. They walked whole night and it took them 9 hours and reached at dawn. Eagle-eyed the health assistant at the district hospital quickly referred them to the Surkhet regional hospital. Prakash and his father headed to Surkhet on a bumpy bus ride via Karnali Highway. Last time I rode that highway, I felt like I had done Sydney 100 Km Trail-walker race again but with out a medal. So one can imagine the suffering topped to that utterly injured child by the bumpy bus ride.

When Help Nepal Foundation was informed about Prakash’s injury we send him to Kathmandu on an air ambulance and got him admitted to teaching hospital emergency ward. The arrangement from the mountain in the Karnali to the Teaching Hospital wasn’t much of a hassle compared to getting him operated at the hospital on time. Even though he reached the hospital at 2 pm Friday we were told he will go through operation on Sunday after 10 am. I couldn’t believe what the doctors said at that time and asked again for confirmation what I had just heard from the him. The doctor again tried to convenience by replying some brain injury patients are going under operation so we will have to wait. I heard as if some one just rewind a retro cassette player to us. Last time I went to teaching hospital emergency ward to meet a young lad who had been stabbed in stomach, we were told exactly the same that some brain injury patients were going through injury and our patient had to wait.

Friday was Prakash 4th day of injury, his leg looked inflected. The last thing we want to know was child loosing his right leg. We contacted 23 different people in total through various means of communication to get him operated on the same day but no signs of progress emerged. At last around 11pm, just before I though of getting my head down, Dr Surya who works in an INGO helped us by replying my previous call and said one of the previous director of Teaching Hospital has been kind enough to grant the boy from Karnali a belated service in Teaching hospital that Friday night. I then rushed to the cash point to get some money to pay for the operation.

I had two feeling when we went to the cash point, one I felt ecstasy to get him operated on Friday and another was what if the doctor says he is going to loose his leg? Because I had taken over the case, there was no way I was going to give up on this child who belong to land of second class citizen as treated by the Nepal government. My mind was moving in the speed of thousand gazelle. I felt like everything was going so slow as if time had frozen that day. It was not the injury of the child that strikes my heart; it was the future of a bright child who could loose his leg simply because of where he was born.

After few hours of intense operations a young doctor assured us Prakash should be able to walk again on both feet. This child stayed 33 days in the hospital and went through 3 operations while he stayed 4 months in the capital. Even though Help Nepal Foundation paid for all his expenses, Prakash lost a year of study at school and suffered unnecessary agony due to lack of understanding by people in Karnali about child labour as well as poor medical facility with in Karnali Region.

In this age of information and technology People in Karnali are still in the darkness waiting for the light “Prakash” to shine. Prakash is a prototype of thousand of children from Karnali. He was one of the lucky one but thousand more have gone through the similar kind of soreness and more to go unless and until some miracle will happen.

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