Schoolgirl survives freak blow to head as discus lands on track

Updated: Oct 22, 2019, 08:17 IST | Sundari Iyer | Mumbai

As irresponsible officials schedule two events at the same time at Sports Authority of India ground in Kandivli, discus thrown by an athlete injures U-17 runner; forget a doctor, inefficient DSO did not even have first-aid equipment on field

Zoha Mansuri
Zoha Mansuri

The District Sports Office (DSO) continues to be least bothered about the safety of young players, who participate in their tournaments. mid-day had recently reported how the DSO authorities directly resorted to penalty shootouts instead of a full match in their U-17 inter-school and inter-college tournament at various venues in the suburbs.

On Friday, during the District Sports Office's (DSO) athletic meet at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) ground in Kandivli, young sprinter Zoha Mansuri, 15, of St Joseph's (Bandra) was grievously injured when a discus (weighing around 2kg) thrown by a discus thrower hit her on the head while she was finishing the U-17 100m dash. Zoha collapsed on the track and began bleeding profusely from the head with no medical help made available by the DSO officials; not even first aid.

DiscussA file photo of a discus throw event at the SAI, Kandivli ground, earlier this year

Zoha's mother Tarannum is annoyed with the DSO's lackadaisical approach. "Zoha was in the inner track and was nearing the 100m finish line when this discus suddenly bounced on the ground nearby and struck her on the head. She collapsed, struggled to breathe and then turned pale. I panicked. Shockingly, there was no doctor at the venue. The officials were unable to even provide ice to apply to the injury. I immediately covered Zoha's head with my dupatta," Tarannum told mid-day yesterday.

Helpless mother

The helpless mother struggled to get her daughter to a hospital. "Firstly, you do not get any autorickshaws inside complex. So, with the help of some other parents, we lifted Zoha and put her on a motorbike that took her to the main entrance of the SAI Centre from where I rushed her to the nearby Sanchaiti Super Speciality Hospital in an auto," said Tarannum.

Dr GK Khomane, who treated Zoha at the hospital, said that the girl was fortunate not to have suffered a fatal injury. "Zoha had a deep gash on her head that needed five stitches. It could have been a very serious injury as the discus is heavy and its impact can also be fatal. In such cases, when a patient develops breathing issues due to trauma; first aid is a must."

ZohaZoha Mansuri underwent a CT scan

Doctor speaks

"Organisers must have a doctor available for such events as precious time may be wasted in getting the patient to the hospital," said Dr Khomane.

Tarannum then took Zoha to Bandra's Holy Family Hospital since it is closer to their home on Linking Road. "I got a CT Scan done for Zoha which fortunately did not reveal any internal damage. But it was a horrible incident and the DSO must be blamed for their negligence. They are literally playing with lives of youngsters," said Tarannum.


Meanwhile, Zoha is unable to recover from the traumatic experience. "When the discus hit my head, I didn't know what happened. I just saw blood all around me and collapsed. Even now, the moment I close my eyes, I see the discus hurtling towards me," said Zoha.

Discuss
Zoha Mansuri  received five stitches for her head injury

Meanwhile, Jamnabai Narsee's athletics coach Cyril D'Souza, who was one of the officials at the athletic meet, felt the incident could have been avoided had the DSO officials ensured better communication between the track and field officials at the venue. "It's an unfortunate incident that happened due to a lack of communication between the track and field officials. The boy, who threw the discus is not at fault. The DSO authorities should have ensured that the track and field events do not take place simultaneously as there is no safety net near the discus throw area. Also, a doctor has to be present during such events," said D'Souza.

DSO official: Did my best

DSO official Jayshree Devkar admitted that a doctor should have been around, but insisted that she did her best to help the injured Zoha.

DiscussZoha ahead of the 100m event at SAI, Kandivli, last Friday

"What happened on Friday should never happen to anyone ever again. I admit that there was no doctor at the venue, but I personally brought my bike on to the athletics track to take Zoha to the main gate of the sports complex. There, I helped them get an autorickshaw and even accompanied them to the hospital. This [incident] is a lesson for us. Next time, we will surely have a doctor present," said Devkar.

The DSO comes under the purview of the Maharashtra government's Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

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