City student saves 28 patients in Nepal

City student saves 28 patients in Nepal

If one were to be hit by an earthquake, his foremost concern would be to escape unhurt and come out alive. However, this student from the City, placed the lives of 28 patients of Down Syndrome before his own.

Chirag Charles, a degree student from St Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, who was stranded in Kathmandu when the deadly quake hit Nepal on Saturday, has managed to save the lives of Down Syndrome patients.

Charles, who is pursuing Master of Social Work (MSW), is in Kathmandu since April 9 to take part in a 45-day block placement project as a part of the academic curriculum. He was interning in Kathmandu-based NGO, National Down Syndrome Society.

As recounted by Charles’ father, on the day of the earthquake, his son was on the second floor of the building. He felt tremors and saw people running helter-skelter. Sensing something wrong, he rushed to the ground floor. When he realised what was happening, he ran back and forth, carrying each of the 28 patients to safety.

Charles’ father Hubert, a retired Deputy Conservator of Forest, told Deccan Herald: “From Saturday, the moment I got the news about the earthquake, I was worried about my son’s safety. Later, in the evening the news channels reported that more than 1,000 people were killed and it was shocking. I tried contacting him and those at the NGO but in vain. I spoke to officials from Karnataka and Delhi and they assured me that they will provide us with information at the earliest.”

It was a great relief for the family on Sunday, when they received a call from Charles telling them he was safe. He narrated to his father how he had rescued the 28 patients. “He called me on Sunday evening to say that he reached Nepal International Airport.”
Charles told his father that his food and shelter was being taken care by the NGO. “I’m glad that he saved lives of such innocent people. We are in constant touch with the officials. He told me that the situation is bad. New Kathmandu, the place where they are residing is not hit as badly as Old Kathmandu. The latest news is that Charles has reached Nepal International airport but the weather as turned bad with heavy rains and wind,” Hubert added.

Along with Charles, his classmate Sumedha Panja was also interning at the NGO. Kiran Jeevan, HoD of MSW Department, said: “We were worried about our students who had gone on a project. We tried to get in touch with them. But on Sunday morning, Sumedha managed to call me to say that they were safe. But she is terrified and is not being able to come to terms with the disaster. We have asked them to come back to the City at the earliest and constant efforts are being made to make sure that they return safely.”

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