Enduring pain leaves Cop in state of numb
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Enduring pain leaves Cop in state of numb

February 17, 2024
  • Siddegowda of Pirangi Dal suffered severe burns when a flame of fire hit gun powder bag during cannon firing practice on the eve of Jumboo Savari-2023

I am bereft of insurance amount for being unable to provide adequate information to claim the benefit during the course of treatment. I have borrowed loan to build a house on small piece of land. I was about to recover financially, when the mishap dealt a blow again. The pain is so unbearable that, the itching sensation aggravates on scratching. However, it can be addressed with laser treatment, but the dire financial condition I am in, has been eluding me from availing laser treatment. Hence I have to keep the fingers moving often or else it will go numb. I don’t know from where came the flame, 2-kg gun powder I was carrying in the bag burst in no time. Our focus will be entirely on cannon firing, as 21-gun salute should be completed in 52 seconds. All due to my bad time.” —Siddegowda

Mysore/Mysuru: Four months have elapsed since Dasara-2023 was over in October, but a Police here continues to endure the pain he had to suffer for no fault of his, with neither any succour from higher officials nor the Government to bail him out from the pathetic situation he is in now.

Siddegowda, a resident of RS Naidu Nagar in city, is attached to City Armed Reserve (CAR) Police force and is a part of Pirangi Dal that handles the arduous task of cannon firing for 21-gun salute. The gun salute is offered to the presiding deity Goddess Chamundeshwari, placed in 750-kg Golden Howdah, during Jumboo Savari every year.

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Call it a quirk of fate or his bad luck, Siddegowda was among several personnel of Pirangi Dal that was involved in the final leg of rehearsal on the eve of Jumboo Savari on Oct. 23, when a flame of fire hit the bag of gun powder Siddegowda was holding, causing a burst that left him severely injured with burn injuries affecting his back, right forearm and chest. He underwent treatment at the hospital for a month, before returning home where he is convalescing since then.

Along with the pain that refuses to die soon, Siddegowda has been finding it difficult to meet the mounting expenses towards his treatment. He has been serving Police Department for the last 24 years, with almost 15 years in Pirangi Dal.

While a major chunk of the monthly salary goes towards EMI for housing loan, he has to manage the family with a meagre amount of Rs. 4,000 he could save from his salary every month, says a relative of Siddegowda.

Besides, he is in dire need of monetary help to meet the expenses towards laser treatment to regain the strength of a portion of the body afflicted by burns, as every treatment session requires not less than Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 4,000.

Even though those on Pirangi Dal are provided with insurance cover, Siddegowda cannot claim the amount for the norms of 40 percent burns and above to be entitled for availing benefit. According to a circular issued by the Government in 2014, on duty Police personnel involved in maintaining law and order and prevention of criminal activities are liable for compensation on humanitarian grounds. The compensation of Rs. 2 lakh shall be provided in case of serious injuries and Rs. 10 lakh for permanent disability. But still, the relief eludes Siddegowda, who suffers from numbness in his right forearm, if he fails to keep it in motion at the break of every half-an-hour.

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Being the sole breadwinner, Siddegowda feels it difficult to meet monthly expenses of the family. The higher ups in the Department have been promising to facilitate due compensation, but the assurance is yet to see the light of the day.

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