New Delhi: Mohammad Faizan, a 14-year-old from Kardampuri area in Delhi, was shot in the back during the communal riots that took place in the capital city in February. After nine months of therapy and treatment, Faizan is now able to walk again.
He stepped out of his house on 25 February to go to a shop nearby, unaware of the violence that was unfolding outside. Soon, he found himself running with a crowd and was shot at by unidentified persons. The boy was rushed home by some passersby.
He was taken to the GTB Hospital several hours after he was injured, where doctors told his family that he had suffered nerve damage. They were unsure if Faizan would be able to walk anytime soon.
The 14-year-old was on bed rest for three months, during which time he also underwent physiotherapy. Eventually, he began walking slowly. Today, the teen is still unable to entirely exert his body weight on his feet, especially his right leg, and wears special shoes to support it.
When he was 11 years old, Faizan left school due to financial problems. Now, with the help of an NGO, he has been able to go back to his studies. This is his first week of online classes.
Faizan and his brother were brought up by their grandmother Amna Khatun. While his brother works at a shop in Chandni Chowk, Faizan used to help his grandmother with her stitching work at home.
Both Faizan and his grandmother are dependent on his brother. The family’s financial situation turned for the worse during the lockdown when his brother was unable to earn.
Faizan told ThePrint that they received some help after the riots but the lockdown that followed soon after made things particularly difficult. The family had little to eat and were also in debt.
As a victim of the riots, Faizan is due to receive Rs 2 lakh as compensation from the Delhi government. However, he is yet to receive the entire amount. “We were promised Rs 2 lakh, but so far we have only received Rs 20,000 when Faizan was in the hospital,” said Amma Khatun.
Remembering the riots, Faizan said he still fears leaving his house.