Mobile blast victim was forced to change age for job

He was just 15 years old when L&T hired him, says father

Mobile blast victim was forced to change age for job

 Seetharam, a youth from Bihar who suffered severe injuries following the suspected mobile phone blast at Kadabahalli, in neighbouring Mandya district, is underaged. His actual age was fabricated, only to avoid legal hassles, accor­ding to his father Pundev.

Pundev told Deccan Herald, “My son was 15 when he was offered job by the contractor (at Manjunatha Engineering and Constructions), who had bagged the project of L&T toll plaza at Kadabahalli. It was at the insistence of the contractor, his age was shown as 18. He will soon turn 16. Most importantly, Seetharam was quick at job and the lure of earning double, including my wages, forced me to agree to it. Now, we have been betrayed by the same contractor, who planned attacks only to silence us.”

Pundev gives an voluminous account of his son’s condition - restricted  to bed, always in sleeping position only to avoid drooling. The moment he gets up, the saliva begins to flow and he has to wipe the same...

Seetharam, though unable to speak, conveys that he wants to study further, after his full recovery. However, neither he nor his parents are aware when will that day come.

Ask Seetharam about that ill-fated day, and he gestures how the cellphone exploded soon after he fixed the socket of the charger to the phone. His mother Rani Devi intervenes to add, how an engineer owing allegiance to the contractor took away that damaged pieces of the cellphone along with its purchase bill and their belongings kept in a trunk, mostly fearing future consequences.

Following the intervention of the State Legal Services Authority, Seetharam was admitted to KR Hospital in Mysuru on Tuesday. He has been currently admitted at ward four of new surgical block, the stone building at the hospital coming under Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMC and RI). When contacted, Superintendent of K R Hospital Dr B G Sagar said:  “A team of doctors from the hospital has evaluated his condition. A report is expected in a day or two to continue with his treatment.”

Seetharam, the eldest son of Pundev and Rani Devi couple from Bihar, was contributing to the family purse till the mishap on February 3.

Initially treated at Adhichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) at Nagamangala in Mandya, he was referred to JSS Hospital in Mysuru for further treatment on February 4. He underwent multiple surgeries, during the course of which his damaged nose, tongue, upper and lower jaws were reconstructed through plastic surgery.

Seetharam was discharged from the hospital on June 6, citing medical reasons, especially fear of  infection due to the multiple surgeries.

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