Kannur, the northern district of Kerala, has a long-standing history of political violence owing to the frequent clashes that occur between Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). More than 200 people have been killed and countless others have been injured in various incidents of sporadic violence in the area so far.
Asna K lost her right leg to a similar case of political violence in the region back in 2000. She completed her MBBS from Government Medical College, Kozhikode, last week. And 18-years after the incident, she is all set to return to the hospital albeit as a doctor.
Five-year-old Asna was playing outside her home in Poovathur village on September 27, 2000, when a home-assembled bomb that was allegedly hurled by an RSS supporter towards Congress workers went off nearby. The next thing she remembers is excruciating pain in her right leg that was blown-off due to the bomb.
Next few weeks in the hospital were a blur. Her right leg had to be amputated from the knee. She returned home with a prosthetic leg after spending nearly 86 days in the hospital. “The hospital staff, doctors and the people who visited me at that time inspired me to stand strong,” Asna told InUth over phone from Kannur.
Her family didn’t have the means to sustain the treatment. The district Congress committee supported them and funded her treatment and education.
Over the years, Asna has changed at least 15 prosthetic legs. In the initial days, the prosthetic leg had to be changed every three to four months to catch up with her growth.
In an interview with The Indian Express, Asna recalled the hardship she had to endure while her leg got familiar with the different prosthetic legs over the years. There was also the danger of ulceration in case of bleeding in the leg.
Amid all the troubled times, her father, K Nanu has been a constant source of support for her. Nanu, who ran a small tea shop in the area at the time of the blast, shut it down to carry her to school and back every day.
“So many people helped me financially at that time. The Hospital gave free of cost treatment. Though I am not sure about government, when I joined Government Medical College in Calicut, they built a lift for me to reach the classroom which was located on the 2nd floor,” she told InUth.
Asna credits the doctors, the hospital staff and her father with helping her to help her stay strong and become a doctor. “Doctors, the hospital staff and the people who visited me at that time inspired me to stay strong. The doctors and my father inspired me to become a doctor. I’m grateful to everyone who helped me and supported me in becoming a doctor,” she added.