The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bed ready but red tape keeps boy on floor

Calcutta, Oct. 28: An 11-year-old Nandigram boy with his forehead pierced by a bullet is trying to survive SSKM Hospital’s red tape lying on the floor outside the paediatric ward.

Bulu Mir can neither get in nor get out to another ward where he can be given a bed.

The rules say a child can be let into the paediatric ward only if his mother or a female relative accompanies him. But because he is technically “admitted” to the ward, he cannot be shifted to another without “proper medical reasons”.

“His mother could not come today because of the East Midnapore bandh,” said the boy’s father Mir Sarafat Ali, a farmer from Satengabari, who brought him last evening.

Since then, Bulu has been groaning on his mattress outside the ward’s collapsible gate, sweating heavily without a fan over his head, his head covered in stitches. He cannot open his infected, swollen eyes that keep oozing fluid. He is on oxygen.

“He is serious. We have kept a bed ready for him, only a female relative has to come. The neurosurgeons are yet to decide about operating,” said medical superintendent Ashok Ghosh.

Bulu was playing in the courtyard yesterday when a bullet, fired in the land war, passed sideways through his forehead.

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