PULWAMA: On October 31, 2016, government forces started ransacking houses in Rohmoo village of Pulwama. The villagers, men and women, all came out on roads in protest. It led to clashes between the two sides. The forces fired teargas shells and pellets at the protesters. As the clashes intensified, a 14-year-old orphan girl, Ifra Jan, stepped out of her home to look for her younger brother who had gone out to play with neighbouring kids. As soon as she reached the road, a rain of pellets hit her, some of them piercing her eyes.
“After hearing the horrible sounds of shells and guns, I could not stop myself from going out to search for my brother. But as soon as I went out, the forces fired pellets at me,” Ifra told Kashmir Reader. ?After being hit by pellets, she said, she felt darkness all around her. Blood started oozing out from her eyes and face. ?A boy who saw her falling down took her to a local health center, from where she was referred to district hospital Pulwama. Doctors there gave her first-aid and then referred her to SMHS, where she was operated upon in both her eyes. A week later, doctors conducted one more surgery in her right eye, but both surgeries have failed to restore vision in her right eye. ?The pellets, Ifra said, shattered her dreams of becoming a doctor. “Since I have lost vision in my eye, I have not touched my books. Though the vision in my left eye is useful, any glare brings tears to both my eyes and causes severe pain. I have no hope of my recovery. Only God can help,” Ifra, whose father was killed in cross-firing between forces and militants nine years ago, said.?Her grandfather, Abdul Aziz Dar, is ready to sell his belongings for her treatment. “I have never let her feel like an orphan,” Dar said. “I wanted to give her a good education and see her excel in whatever field she chose. But now my only concern is the recovery of her vision. I am ready to sell my land and other property for her recovery.” ?“We visit SMHS for check-up after every ten days but doctors are not telling us whether the vision in her right eye will return or not,” Dar said.