Neehaari Mandali helps burn survivors with free reconstructive surgeries in Kerala – The New Indian Express

Express news service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A little nap while preparing for her Class 12 exams had cost Reshma Rajan dearly. As she fell asleep, Reshma accidentally fell on the kerosene lamp she was using to study after the power was cut off, causing her clothes to burn and leaving her with 50% neck burns. . Even after two surgeries, life as she knew it was beyond reach.

On Tuesday, Reshma underwent reconstructive surgery that would increase the functionality of her neck and release the post-burn contracture, all expenses paid. “Earlier, the tightness in my neck wouldn’t even allow me to move my neck up. This surgery will help solve this problem, ”said Reshma, from Kottayam. According to her mother Sujatha Rajan, it was the expenses incurred that deterred the family from continuing the proceedings until now. “When we found out about the free surgery from the newspaper, we thought about applying,” Sujatha said.

Reshma is one of 15 burn survivors chosen in Kerala by Andhra Pradesh-based burn survivor and activist Neehaari Mandali for her free post-burn reconstructive surgery camp. The beneficiaries were selected on the basis of the severity of their burns, their economic situation and their mental strength. The camp is jointly organized by Neehaari’s Burn Survivor Mission Savior Trust, Pettah Cosmetiq Clinic, Kerala Plastic Surgeons Association and Trivandrum Round Table 66.

Herself a burn survivor, Neehaari is a story of survival. Every 20 years when she got married, abuse from her husband’s family made her attempt suicide by setting herself on fire. Although she managed to survive, she suffered 60% burns. “Later, I started working as a counselor for other people like me. It was then that I knew I had to do something more to help them, ”she recalls.

And so Neehaari started his charitable trust. Doctors perform the surgery for free. Expenses incurred for disposables, anesthesia, etc. are covered through the trust or out of pocket. “Burn survivors are forced to confine themselves to the four walls of their homes because of the stigma in society. It’s not a way of life, ”said Neehaari, who is dedicated to raising public awareness of the issue.

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