KORAPUT: Abject poverty forced a Class VI student to quit school and work at a maize processing unit in Nabarangpur district. The 12-year-old boy ended up losing his left hand in a mishap at the workplace on Wednesday.
Debsingh Gouda of Junipani village under Kodinga police limits is undergoing treatment at Koraput district headquarters hospital, where his left hand was amputated on Wednesday night.
On Thursday, the district administration sealed the maize mill and ordered a probe into the incident.
"A three-member team, comprising a sub-divisional level officer, district child protection officer and district labour officer, visited the boy's village to inquire into the incident and their report is awaited," said collector (Nabarangpur) Mohammed Sadiq Alam.
"We have lodged an FIR against the mill owner and efforts are on to trace him. Initially, Rs 15,000 was released from the district Red Cross fund towards medical expenses of the child. The state government will bear the entire treatment cost," he added.
Sources said Debsingh lost his father a few years ago. He lives with his mother, an elder brother and a younger sister in the village. His mother and 14-year-old brother are daily wage labourers.
"To supplement my family income, I went to work in the maize processing unit. I was assured of Rs 50 as daily wage. While putting the maize in the machine, my hand accidentally got caught in the blades," Debsingh told TOI from his hospital bed here.
The profusely bleeding boy was taken to Umerkote hospital. After preliminary treatment, he was referred to the district headquarters hospital as his condition deteriorated.
"We received him in a critical state. He had lost too much blood. After administering blood, his left hand was amputated as it could have got infected," said additional district medical officer, Koraput, Bijay Kumar Mohapatra.
His condition is stable and he is responding to the treatment, he added.