Schoolboy hit by bus still haunted by memory


By Ramola Talwar Badam

DUBAI // Schoolboy Aslam Basha is afraid to sleep, as the nightmare of a school bus running over him still flashes before his eyes.

  Aslam Basha, who was injured in a bus accident at school, is pushed by his mother, Altaf, and accompanied by his father, Alam, and brother Sudais, 1.  Antonie Robertson / The National
Aslam Basha, who was injured in a bus accident at school, is pushed by his mother, Altaf, and accompanied by his father, Alam, and brother Sudais, 1. Antonie Robertson / The National

Three weeks after the accident Aslam, 11, has been released from hospital but is confined to a wheelchair. Bone injuries and appointments with doctors have ruled out a planned summer trip to India with his family.

“I feel if I close my eyes the bus will hit me again,” he said with a shudder. “The bus flung me aside and then it came at me again. The first wheel went over me and then the second.

“When the second tyre went over me, I felt my blood stop. I was in so much pain. Night or day, I feel the bus is hitting me again and again.”

The Indian pupil of Dubai’s Central School and a Pakistani student, Shahroz Khan, 13, were hit as they walked towards their bus in the school car park in Al Nahda area after taking their first-term examinations on June 21. Shahroz is still recovering at Rashid Hospital.

(ICU) for more than a week while being treated for internal injuries and fractures to their chests, hips and limbs.

“I can confirm that Basha has been discharged and that Shahroz is better,” said a spokesman for the hospital.

“Shahroz is coherent and no longer in the ICU. He cannot walk yet. He is in a wheelchair and under observation.”

The driver was arrested immediately after the incident.

No official details were available on the accident or possible charges.

“I was conscious when I was lying on the road. I could hear and see everything,” Aslam recalled. “I like science a lot and I had the science exam on that day. I have some more papers to give but I don’t think I want to go back to school.”

Doctors have advised Aslam to rest for at least two months before they decide if surgery is needed for his back injury. He uses a wheelchair when he leaves his Sharjah home for doctors’ appointments.

High-impact injuries in road accident cases can take months to heal, with multiple fractures, torn ligaments and tendons, doctors said.

“Aslam cries out in pain, but also in fear during the day and at night also,” said his mother, Altaf Basha. “The other boy also had the same dreams and couldn’t sleep well.

“Aslam says he is still scared and keeps remembering how the bus wheels went over him. It makes us cry to see him in pain. He is so small, it hurts to see him like this.”

Aslam’s parents said he might be permitted to walk with support after September.

He was discharged from hospital on his birthday, July 6, after repeatedly pleading with doctors to send him home to be with his brother Sudais, 1.

“He didn’t want a cake, new clothes, nothing,” Mrs Basha said. “Coming home was his biggest gift. He just wanted to be with his brother.

“Also, there were so many tubes in him in hospital that he was scared about what would happen next, so he kept saying he would be better at home.”

The family had returned from Umrah – a pilgrimage to Mecca – in time for Aslam’s examinations last month. The accident happened as he had four papers to take before the school closed for summer.

The family was due to head to Chennai for holiday a day after Aslam’s birthday.

Those plans are on hold because of Aslam’s condition, and because the court case into the incident may begin soon, said his father, Alam Basha.

“When we sent him to school he was fine,” said Mr Basha, an engineer with Dubai Metro. “Our child’s life should be just like it was before this happened.

“He is so weak now. Our only prayer is that he recovers fully.”