A bullet and a shattered dream

Caught in a firing incident, years ago, and having subsequently loss his eyesight, the dreams of a man in Murran village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, have been shattered.
Shakeel Ahmad Ganie, 40, son of Ali Muhammad Ganie, of Murran village in Pulwama, who now-a-days is living a miserable life, used to live a happy life till 1994.

Those days, he used to work as a butcher in Sirnoo village.
At the prime of his youth, Shakeel was working extra hours at a meat shop in Sirnoo village to lend a helping hand to his father after was rendered jobless.

“My father incurred heavy losses due to the low sales forcing him to close down his meat shop,” Shakeel recalls.
After his father was rendered jobless, the responsibility of managing the house fell on his shoulders.
The 16-year-old was earning near sufficient amount by selling meat to feed his aged parents, and fulfill their daily requirements.

His parents in turn were planning to marry him off and were receiving proposals for their good-looking son.
However, before Shakeel could make some savings for his marriage, bad luck struck him.
He was caught in a firing incident at Pulwama that changed his life forever.
Recalling the incident, Shakeel said on a morning of May 1994, a day ahead of Eid, he was travelling to Pulwama for purchasing some confectionery.
“There was a commotion with some locals and Police around Rajpora Chowk. I heard a bang and then Police opened fire, leaving many people injured. A bullet pierced my ankle and a flying object hit my thigh,” he said. “Soon I was in a pool of blood and was shifted to District Hospital Pulwama.”
Shakeel was referred to SMHS Hospital in Srinagar where he was treated and discharged the following day.
Back at home, he complained of severe pain in thigh and after enduring the pain for a month, he went to a private diagnostic clinic in Pulwama where an X-ray revealed shrapnel in the thigh.
Shakeel went to SMHS again where doctors advised immediate surgery and as there was no possibility to conduct this surgery at the hospital at the earliest, they advised me to get admitted at a private hospital.
“The operation was costly, requiring at least Rs 40,000 which I couldn’t manage,” he said. “I returned with a broken heart and with the passage of time, I started losing sight in both the eyes.”
By 2002, he was declared a visually impaired person with 100 percent disability.
Shakeel, whose 14 years of prime youth were lost in the pain and suffering, could not find a match for himself in Kashmir.
Eventually, he married a non-state subject woman from Kolkata and has two kids, a girl and a boy.
Shakeel, who was the sole bread earner of the family, now depends on his wife, Afshana, who works as a sweeper for a monthly pay of Rs 700.
“This is too meagre to meet our daily requirements,” he said. “The occasional charity by certain generous people keeps our hearth burning.”