Karmipur (Nadia), April 23: Four years after being blinded in one eye during an encounter between the BSF and the Bangladesh Rifles at Nassiripara near here, 10-year-old Papiya Mondol was handed a cheque for Rs 50,000 as “compensation” by the border guards.
Biswanath Mondol, accepting the cheque on behalf of his daughter, said he and other philanthropic bodies had tried in vain for the past few years to save Papiya’s eye. “There is no way we can give her back her vision in one eye, but I am depositing the entire amount in the bank so that the money can help my daughter in future,” he said.
Papiya was hit on the left eye by shrapnel from a mortar that landed close to her house during a six-hour battle on April 19, 1999.
The injured girl was rushed to the rural hospital and shifted to the district hospital at Krishnagar. “They asked for a huge sum of money, which was impossible for a poor farmer like me to provide. I approached the zilla parishad and the district magistrate, who promised help, but nothing came,” the father said.
A family friend approached two organisations that took Papiya to clinics in Calcutta. “There the doctors said it was too late to do anything,” Mondol said.
Last year, they decided to write to the BSF. “A few days ago, we got a letter from the President of India, stating that Papiya be paid compensation,” said BSF deputy inspector-general A.K. Ghosh.