25 November, 2020

At the Pune rehabilitation centre, soldiers get a second chance at life

At the Pune rehabilitation centre, soldiers get a second chance at life
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
In times of war, a point of view from a peaceful doctor, misleadingly called Lieutenant Colonel. "You should never die for your country," says surgeon S.P. Jyoti, borrowing a line from a favourite film, "you should help the enemy die for his country". When this doesn’t happen, there’s a serious problem. Fortunately, Jyoti is someone who’s part of a solution. As the medical director of the army’s Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre in Pune, he’s lost count of the number of operations he has done over the last 30 years, on the damaged spinal cords of soldiers. Armchair fans of war should find a visit to the centre illuminating, especially the empty dining room. There is just one big table. And nothing else. No chairs. The mystery is solved when men in wheelchairs come and neatly assemble around the table. These men were soldiers once, most of them fought in Kargil. But when splinters tore off their spinal cord, they came here paralysed waist or even neck downwards. They are numb now, feeling nothing.

As the only specialised surgeon in the centre capable of performing this...

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