Friday, January 13, 2012

An elephant injuring a lady and her child

Media and crowd beginning to gather at the hospital gate.
Earlier today,  an elephant injured a lady by the name of Kalpana Thakuria and her 1yr old son Jyotishmall Thakuria. The child suffered minor injuries and first aid has been given while the lady is operated upon.

I was going around with my camera in the locality clicking photos of flowers and plants when I saw people and media persons gathering around the Hospital situated in the locality. Mom who was with me asked a small boy what was happening but as if too tensed, he ran away without answering. Then upon asking other persons around, we found out that an elepha-nt have injured someone. I then approached a young guy who turned out to be the brother of the injured person. He told me that her sister is hurt and her stitches were opened up but fine now. He too was too worried to give me a proper answer. 
Injured one year old boy Jyotishmall Thakuria

So, I went to the place where the incident happened. The people around there told me that the lady holding her child in her arms  was trying to feed the elephant along with some of her family members and something went wrong with the elephant. He carried her for a distance and then struck her with his tusks several times injuring her on her neck, face and both sides of her tummy. The stitches from her not too long cesarean operation opened up and she is critically injured. 

As the media and crowd were diverted towards the police and mahout's friend, I slipped inside the hospital and talked to the close family members. Saw the injured boy too who was resting his head on his grand-
Worried family members with the injured child.
mother's shoulder and sleeping after first aid was given to him. I talked to Hareshwari, Kalpana's sister-in-law who asked me to talk to her brother Jitumoni as he was with Kalpana and the child when the incident occurred.
Jitumoni, the brother-in-law who escaped unhurt.
Jitumoni told me that today, around 10.30am in the morning, he and his bhabi were offering money to the elephant. It is a daily routine for the family to offer either food or money  and worship the 2/3 elephants (owned by a person who stays close by) as they happen to pass along the road in front of their house everyday. According to him, it was a shock as the elephant pushed him away with his trunk as he offered him the money and bowed before him. The elephant than caught hold of the lady and her child with his trunk and hit her left and right pushing her forward as he moved on. The child fell at the center in between his four legs and luckily escaped being crushed. As for Kalpana, when the trunk swayed and hit her left and right, the long tusks kept piercing her face, neck and tummy injuring her critically. Her abdominal stitches from the Cesarean operation too opened up. Somehow she and the child were brought to the hospital which is a few meters away and taken care of by the doctors and the hospital staff there. Kalpana is still in a critical condition and is being operated upon while the child is being sent for a CT scan to a different hospital to check out any internal injuries. We all are praying for the safety and speedy recovery of the mother and child.

Police taking away a friend of the Mahout for questioning.
As for the elephant, he is said to being kept at his owners place while the police picked 
up the Mahout's friend for questioning. While I was inside the hospital with some of 
the family members, the media talked to him and rest of the family members and as I came out, I saw the guy being made to sit inside the police vehicle and then they drove away.  

It is a wonder for all the people as to why the elephant suddenly got wild...pushed the young guy away and then struck the lady. Its being thought that the elephant might be very hungry and got irritated that he is being offered money instead of food. According to some, the elephants might not be properly fed by the owner. Besides, the mahout is a new one and could not control the elephant. He just turned wild and is said to be still wild and angry. It is being tried in all possible ways to calm down the angered elephant. 

I have been planning to go for a ride on one of these elephants but relieved now that I did not go and sit on his back. Going to give up the idea of riding this particular elephant but I will definitely try going for a ride on one of the other elephants......provided the wild life protecting people does not take away the elephants from here. They are indeed magnificent creatures and I love having them around in the locality and its always a pleasure watching them go by with full elegance, grace and grandeur.

*** Diana Raj Kumari ***



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