HYDERABAD: Little Pranavi was a bubbly chatter-box and always active that her mother and grandparents together attended her, all the time. Just 18-months-old, she would not only call out words like ‘nanna’, ‘amma’ and ‘tatha’ and run around the home spilling moments of joy. But she always responded positively to the directions from elders in the family. On Sunday morning, the girl who brought smiles and giggles to the family, laid motionless.
An alleged overdose of vaccine administered to the girl during a DPT, Polio and Measles vaccination drive held at the anganwadi centre Saturday afternoon had claimed her life robbing the family of all their joy.
Before she was declared dead, her face, lips, right upper arm, fingers and right thigh had turned black, said relatives. pranavi was given two injections and an oral drop Saturday afternoon and she remained conscious only for the next four hours, claimed family members.
An uneasy calm prevailed at the family’s rented house in Shivshankar Nagar Colony of Mathuguda near Nagole. The family members and relatives were shocked and called for justice.
While Dhana Lakshmim the girl’s mother remained unconscious most of the day, a numb struck father, M Sai Kumar, refrained from talking to anyone.
“We believe it was the vaccine that caused her death. We want the government to pull up and punish everyone who is responsible so that no such incident takes place in future,” said Anita, Sai Kumar’s sister.
It was Anita who took the girl for vaccination the previous day. “We went at 12.45 pm and no other child was there. The attenders handed us over paracetamol tablets stating that she might fall ill. That would be normal but she suffered severe fever and motions within the next three hours. She fell sleep after taking the tablet,” Anita explained the turn of events.
In the night, the fever intensified and the body of the child started turning black. “By 3 am, we decided to take her to hospital. She had turned so weak and unconscious,” added Balraj, the girl’s grandfather.
Pranavi was the only daughter of Sai Kumar and Dhana Lakshmi who have been married for four years. “I cannot forget the images of her playing around the house a day ago and now we are in bereavement,” said Balraj, speaking indistinctly.
Tears rolling down his eyes as he said “Our “pandu’ was a very healthy girl. If she has died all of a sudden, it has to be thoroughly investigated and we will pursue it.” They are awaiting the results of postmortem and hoping that the FSL test will bring out the truth.