PESHAWAR: Safina, a seven-year-old girl, has no words to explain her tragedy. She turns pale whenever she is asked about the scars of burn injuries on her body
Feelings of anguish revisit her whenever she recalls the day she sustained injuries when a bomb exploded outside her school last year.
“I vividly remember the national anthem being played during our morning assembly when a deafening explosion tore our eardrums. It seemed as if a calamity had befallen us.”
“The whole area was engulfed in smoke and dust and I couldn’t understand what had happened. I realised I was lying on the ground and felt hot searing pain, after which I fainted,” explained the little girl.
According to Safina’s father Riaz, she doesn’t remember the initial days of her recovery at the Lady Reading Hospital.
“She frequently fell unconscious and cried with pain,” he said.
Riaz was having breakfast when the blast took place.
“The first thought which came to my mind was that my daughters had just left for school. I rushed towards the school with my wife, who didn’t even wear a veil in a hurry,” he explained.
“When I saw the smoke outside the school, I felt the ground tremble beneath my feet. Our daughters were inside the building, which had been badly damaged,” he said.
As they entered the school, they found Sana, the elder daughter. She had suffered minor injuries but was scared to death.
Then they started searching for Safina, who was found lying unconscious under the debris.
The doctors informed Riaz that Safina had suffered burn injuries as electricity wires had fallen on her, due to which she also received anelectric shock.
Safina remained in the hospital for around two months, during which she underwent several operations and plastic surgeries. Even though she was fortunate enough to survive, the blast has left a permanent scar on her life.
Even after recovering from 70 per cent of her wounds, she was unable to walk because the skin on her stomach and other parts of her body had melted.
After undergoing repeated surgeries, Safina is now able to walk, but doctors say she may face complications as she grows up.
Her family has spent Rs500,000 on her treatment so far. Being a government servant with an average income, her father had to take loans and sell all the jewellery they had.
He is also satisfied with the response of the government, which provided Rs200,000 for Safina’s treatment. In addition to that, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti also invited Safina and her father to his residence and presented Rs100,000 for her treatment.
According to Riaz, Safina is resilient and she has started going to school again. She wants to become a doctor.
“What we suffered might be our fate, but I want to convey the miseries and torture of blast victims to the militants. My daughter had to bear such a painful experience at a tender age. But for what?
What was her fault?” He questioned.
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