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Funds pour in for special boy in Garo hills

- SBI staff pitch in to help six-year-old Chidam Marak, who lost both hands in electrocution

Tura, July 28: The district administration’s appeal to help six-year-old Chidam Marak, who lost both his arms after being electrocuted, has borne fruit, bringing a ray of hope for the child.

His story, which appeared in July 1 edition of The Telegraph motivated State Bank of India staff in Garo hills, to make a generous donation of Rs 37,700 to deputy commissioner Pravin Bakshi at his chambers today.

The boy lost both his arms after being electrocuted at Chasingre near Tura in West Garo Hills on November 16 last year.

While returning from school, the child had urinated near the edge of a high-voltage transformer, leading to the electrocution.

Doctors had said he would need a myo-electric hand that costs Rs 6.5 lakh. The cheque was handed over to Bakshi by the assistant general manager of SBI, Garo hills region, Nixon Joseph, in the presence of other workers.

“Responding to the appeal to assist the boy from a very poor family, all the staff of SBI voluntarily contributed to raise the funds to help him, as he requires a myo-electric hand. We feel proud of being able to contribute to the cost of the rehabilitation. This goes beyond the call of duty and an exemplary act, which demonstrated the commitment of my colleagues to the people of Garo hills and to society in general. Apart from enhancing the image of SBI, it only proves that humane feelings are still not extinct in society,” said Joseph.

He said all employees of the bank from the 41 branches contributed from their salary for the cause.

“As a bank, we earn our profits from the people of Garo hills and as such, it becomes a part of our social responsibility to try and touch as many lives as possible through our endeavours,” he added.

Joseph said he would take up the issue with his higher authorities seeking help for the boy.

A magisterial probe by the deputy commissioner has blamed the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Ltd (MePDCL) for the negligence as the transformer was unmanned and unfenced, which led to the electrocution.

After much criticism from different quarters, the corporation has released a contribution of Rs 62,000 for Chidam.

The public has contributed Rs 3,500.

Bakshi said, “We are happy that different organisations and individuals are coming forward to help the boy. What has touched us most is the age of the boy who has his whole life in front of him. Our campaign has touched a lot of people and we hope that by Christmas, we will have enough to ensure the rehabilitation package for Chidam.”

He noted that the contribution from the public was disappointing. “This is the beginning and we hope that more people will come forward to help this poor family. Many have expressed their desire to help but it seems they are too busy to do so,” added Bakshi, who launched the campaign to help the boy.

At least Rs 10 lakh is required for the rehabilitation of Chidam, who will require prosthetic limbs, counselling and doctor’s fees and extended therapy sessions.