This 35-year-old doctorâ€™s life in Visakhapatnam changed forever in one instance when he became the victim of an acid attack. Now, his friends and colleagues have come together to help him gather fund for his treatment.
Balaji Bhusan Patnaik, who hails from Cuttack, is a paediatrician working at the Seven Hills Hospital. Balaji was attacked with acid near Pandimetta Power Station by two unidentified persons while he was returning home from work.
The attack has left the doctor with a loss of nearly 90 percent vision in one eye, according to Deccan Chronicle. He has also suffered almost 80-90 per cent burns on his face and neck, the report says.
Since the cost of the surgery and treatment is high, his batchmates and colleagues from the medical community is using Facebook and WhatsApp to raise funds for Balaji.
The message doing the rounds on social media reads:
A heinous act (Acid attack) has been conducted on our beloved brother Dr Balaji Bhusan Patnaik (Consultant Paediatrician Seven hills hospital, Visakhapatnam), which cannot be compensated.He has almost lost one eye and we are not even sure about the prognosis of the other eye.He has almost 80-90% facial and neck burns and needs to undergo facial reconstruction surgery at higher centre (Nair Hospital Mumbai).The further treatment may cost 40 to 50 lakhs which is really unaffordable for any middle-class family.This act of barbarism not only damaged his face and eyes but crippled this young, budding and dynamic paediatrician, both professionally and personally.
I request you all to come forward and donate as much as you can to his account as he needs our support.We may not bring back his life to normal once again but we can definitely help him out financially for his further treatment.
Looking forward for all your support towards him and his family.
Bank Account Details
Balaji Bhusan Patnaik
State Bank Of India
Kohinoor -Visakha,Beach road
IFS code: SBIN0015380
Speaking to TNM, Nilamadhab Prusty, a friend of Dr Patnaik said, "I've known him since 2001 and we were batchmates in college when we were doing our MBBS. The online campaign is a combined effort of all our batchmates who want to help him. All of us are donating as the treatment is costly."
"I stayed with him for seven years till 2009 and I've never seen him arguing with anyone. He is a very simple person and never gets involved in any problem. He always had a smile on his face and never held a grudge against anyone," Nilabadhab adds.
Nilabadhab also said that his friends and family decided to use his own account for the crowdfunding, as they did not want to go through a third party.
"We are getting a good response for the campaign, but the goal is to put pressure on the state government to nab the culprits and give them the strictest punishment. This is beyond our imagination," he says.
According to the police, on the day of the incident two men had approached Patnaikâ€™s car from behind and knocked on his car window. When Patnaik rolled down the window, one of them flung acid on his face and the duo fled the spot on a motorbike.
As the doctor screamed in pain, a crowd of locals gathered who then rushed him to the LV Prasad Eye Hospital and from there to the ICU of the Seven Hills Hospital.
The attack had shocked locals in the area as well as the medical community in the city, as it was the first of its kind.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Pradeep Kar, a former classmate of the victim, says, â€śHe is in his early 30â€™s. Those men almost killed our friend before he could even begin his career. He was a bright student who never picked any quarrels during his MBBS. I donâ€™t know why such a thing has happened to him. We are planning to approach the Union health minister.â€ť
The police are yet to establish motives for the attack.