Paralysed men return to India as Sushma Swaraj intervenes

Shimla: Two men from Himachal Pradesh, who were paralysed after a road accident in Saudi Arabia, have returned to India, the family said on Sunday. They would undergo treatment at the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMCH) in Shimla. They were initially abandoned by their employer in Saudi Arabia after the accident. With the intervention of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, they underwent proper treatment and managed to return home. "Both Jitender and Gagan Kumar, who are bed-ridden, reached Delhi on Saturday evening. Now, they will be admitted to the IGMCH for further treatment," Pankaj Sharma, a relative of Gagan, who hails from Chamba district, told IANS. He said the accident occurred on October 25, 2015. Spine injuries made them bed-ridden ever since. Jitender belongs to Arki in Solan district. "Initially their employer had refused to bear their medical expenses. With the intervention of Sushma Swaraj, officials of the Indian embassy in Riyadh contacted the employer and convinced them to get them treated properly. Even the company facilitated their return to India," he said. Shimla MP Virender Kashyap, who took up the matter with Sushma Swaraj, said their return to India was possible only after the intervention of the Indian authorities. However, it's still not clear whether the state government would bear their cost of further treatment or not as the families have said that they cannot afford their treatment.