This mission is characterized by the many burns and the misery that this brings to their lives daily. We can imagine that the (often painful) scars make it so hard to play and move freely. It makes it difficult for them to participate in society. In addition, most scars are not a pretty sight. The stigmatization caused by this can lead to social rejection and isolation. Just as the scars impact physical growth, they also impact how the child develops. How they trust. How they see themselves. How they feel like they are perceived by others. What they perceive their value and role is in society. These burn surgeries enable freedom to move but also freedom to socialize and engage with others.

For all translations we get help from students of the medical college in Firozabad.

Scar tissue restricts her head from looking up…

This is Premalata Singh who is 28 years old and she lives and lives near the hospital. Premalata and her husband have 2 children. Premalata doesn’t remember exactly how it happened, but suddenly she found herself on the floor with a hellish burning pain on her throat and chest – on fire. Next to her lay their large oil lamp. That was 4 years ago, but I can see this experience haunts her as emotions swell as we talk about it. The experience haunts her mind and the scars prevent her from moving her head freely.

The surgeons want to give her more freedom to move and make her throat look better – to do this they have to take skin from her stomach and move it up to her neck and chest.  I speak to her again on the ward and she asks if and when the scars on her chest will be operated on. To answer the question I followed up with one of the surgeons, who in turn explains it to Premalata. It naturally requires quite a bit of skin from her belly. She needs time to heal before she can be operated on again. She will have to wait until Rotaplast returns to Agra next year.