5-year-old has been in a coma since Karikkakom school van accident

All the toys little Irfan got as gifts during his birthdays have been stacked up in a cupboard in the house.

His room has several packets of medicines and prescriptions, the walls have charts used for his acupuncture therapy.

Irfan, one of the survivors of the Karikkakom school van tragedy on February 17, 2011, will turn six on October 17. But the day will pass without him playing with the toys as he has been in a coma since the accident. However, a group of students from the Carmel Girls Higher Secondary School, Vazhuthacaud, is doing everything they can to make sure that his family is not disheartened.

On Saturday, 61 students of the school, accompanied by their teachers and principal, met Irfan and his family at their house at Karikkakom and handed over a financial aid of Rs.10,000, their first step towards helping the family.

“Providing financial aid was not the only aim of this visit. We understand what the family is going through and how much help and support they need,” said Shruthy, one of the students.

She said that they brought to the attention of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy the plight of the family when they visited him on Thursday.

“We told him that Irfan’s family has no house of their own or a permanent source of income and the Chief Minister has promised to help. However, we did not stop at that and we organised a fund-raising session,” she added.

Accident site

Prior to meeting Irfan and his family, the students visited the accident site and lit candles in front of the memorial for six nursery children and their helper who had died in the accident.

Irfan’s mother Shajini said following treatment her son had shown signs of improvement and was responding to touch through eye movements. “But we are waiting for that moment when he can recognise us,” said his mother who had to wait for eight long years to be blessed with Irfan.

This would mean a lot to the family who had dedicated their life to bring back their son to a normal life, but were struggling to meet everyday needs, said the students. They decided to continue their fund raising initiative in the hope of providing Irfan a house of his own.