The intention to take out a rally on Saturday in support of Pakistani teenaged rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai, who is battling for life after Taliban gunmen shot her, was certainly noble, but the unusual October heat took a toll on three participating students.
Students from around eight schools in Mumbra participated in the rally organised by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Jitendra Awhad and all began well. The rally proceeded from Darul-Fallah Mosque to Mumbra station. However, while the rally was on its return leg, Asiya Shaikh, Misba Shaikh and Iqra Shaikh, all of whom are students of Somiya School in Kausa, Mumbra, collapsed and were admitted to the ICU of Life Care Hospital in Mumbra, where they were treated for heatstroke.
“On Saturday, Jeetendra Awhad, NCP, MLA organised a rally in support of Malala Yousafzai. My daughter Misba was asked to participate by the school authorities,” said Saleem Shaikh, father of Misba, who is a private contractor. “Awhad had marched from Darul-Fallah Mosque to Mumbra station along with the students. I got a call later in the day informing that my daughter was admitted in hospital after fainting during the rally,” said Shaikh.
Similarly, Asiya and s parents received calls from the school authorities informing them that their children were admitted in hospital.
The three students were discharged on Sunday, but fainted again yesterday while at tuitions and had to be readmitted to hospital.
“We primarily suspect heatstroke and have taken blood samples for testing. We are awaiting the reports. They have been having trouble breathing and have been fainting,” said Dr Imran of Life Care Hospital.
“I am in touch with the families and the school authorities and have provided every possible help to them and will do so in future as well,” Awhad said.