Wednesday 23 April 2014
News updated at 10:11 PM IST
Weather
Max: 35.5°C
Min : 21.5°C
In Bangalore
Partially cloudy

'I have to look for a new job now'

Shiv Sunny, Sept 14, 2013, DHNS :

A burn injury survivor reflects on how his life changed after incident

Burn injury survivor Dileep Thakur with his wife and kid. dh photo/ shiv sunny

All his clothes were on fire after an industrial accident, but he managed to survive – with severe burns on his  face, hands, legs and the torso.

Eight months down the line, he  declines physical support offered by his family or hospital guards, who have now come to recognise him as a regular visitor.

“Unless I learn to stand and walk on my own, how will I train myself to start working for a livelihood again?” says 32-year-old Dileep Thakur.


A native of Bihar, Thakur suffered serious burn injuries when a steam pipe burst at a sports manufacturing unit at Govindpuri in south Delhi in February this year.

He lost consciousness. But managed to regain his senses and walk out leaving all his burning clothes behind. He was the only victim of that accident.
He was admitted to the burns department at Safdarjung Hospital for nine days. After his discharge from there, he has been paying visits to the hospital every Tuesday and Friday for treatment.

While he has been trying to get used to the damage caused to his face, he is unable to come to terms with the fact that he could possibly never be able to use his hands again. The fire ate into his hands, leaving two fingers on each hand missing, and others badly damaged.

“Doctors told me they will be able to save the remaining fingers. I have to look for a new job, which can be done with the leftover fingers,” he says.

The sole breadwinner of his family and a father of four children, Rs 5,000 per month is all he receives from the sports unit that employed him. But it is only a matter of time before the funding stops. “I am running against time,” he says.

His wife, mother and children rushed to Delhi from their village in Bihar to be by his side. After having put up outside the burns department in the  winter for nine days at the beginning, they are being accommodated by sympathetic neighbours at slums in Sanjay Colony in Okhla.

He sees nightmare

It was a horrible first few months for Thakur. After being discharged from the hospital, he would have frequent nightmares.

“I would sit by his side all night long while he slept. Each time I would see him throwing his hands and legs in the air while asleep. I would wake him up so that the bad dreams do not continue,” says his wife Sarita Devi.

Thakur attempted to do his chores on his own, including using the mobile phone. “But it made me feel so worthless each time the phone fell off with the caller on the other end continuing to talk,” he says. Doctors at Safdarjung Hospital have been making every effort to reconstruct his face. They have been grafting skin on his face, taking it from his right thigh. “Soon, even those body parts, which were untouched by fire, will have scars,” he says.

When he was shown the mirror the first time at the hospital, he was scared of himself. “You are seeing a much improved version of my face now. I looked like a ghost at the beginning. My little children were scared of me,” says Thakur.

But he was quick to adapt and accept his new body and looks. But upon his release from the hospital, his biggest worry was whether others would accept him. They did not.
“Strangers stare at me, some whisper among themselves. Seeing my hands, some even sympathetically ask me from a distance if I suffer from leprosy. Sometimes, I wish I could walk around invisibly.”

His life changed forever, all that he wishes now is an end to the biweekly trips to the hospital and a source of livelihood. “I want to begin working tomorrow if I can.”

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A woman with her son watches from a window the election campaign rally of National Conference...

A woman with her son watches from a window the election campaign rally of National Conference...

People get their face painted to create awareness on importance of voting in Mumbai on Wednesday...

People get their face painted to create awareness on importance of voting in Mumbai on Wednesday...

Girls display placards to create awareness on voting in Guwahati on Wednesday. PTI Photo

Girls display placards to create awareness on voting in Guwahati on Wednesday. PTI Photo

Artists make paintings of Sachin Tendulkar to wish him on the eve of his birthday in Moradabad...

Artists make paintings of Sachin Tendulkar to wish him on the eve of his birthday in Moradabad...

Police personnel ride a 'jugaad' on their way to polling booths on the eve of Lok Sabha elections...

Police personnel ride a 'jugaad' on their way to polling booths on the eve of Lok Sabha elections...

Girls learn martial arts during a self defense training camp in Faridabad on Wednesday. PTI Photo

Girls learn martial arts during a self defense training camp in Faridabad on Wednesday. PTI Photo

A woman voter showing inked finger to her children during repolling at a polling booth in Kochi...

A woman voter showing inked finger to her children during repolling at a polling booth in Kochi...

A honeybee caught feeding on nectar in ...

A honeybee caught feeding on nectar in ...

Models walk the ramp displaying jewellery during a fashion show in Chandigarh on Wednesday...

Models walk the ramp displaying jewellery during a fashion show in Chandigarh on Wednesday...

Devotees pray and take dip on the banks of the river Ganges, in Varanasi. AP Photo

Devotees pray and take dip on the banks of the river Ganges, in Varanasi. AP Photo

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523