Guwahati, June 22: In a monumental event, Jeet Das, a 17-year-old residing in Assam’s Baska district, experienced a life-altering moment when he crossed paths with Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. This encounter held the promise of transforming Jeet’s life in ways he had never imagined before.

Jeet, burdened by an undiagnosed ailment that had left him visually impaired, had endured social ostracization and constant mockery due to his distinctive appearance. However, a miraculous twist of fate unfolded when he crossed paths with Sarma on that fateful day.

Chief Minister Sarma, en route from his official residence in Dispur to his constituency in Jalukbari, spotted Jeet at a bus stop in Bhangagarh. Noticing the scar on the young boy’s face, Sarma promptly instructed his convoy to halt and approached Jeet.

It was then that the Chief Minister discovered Jeet’s struggle with ‘Neurofibroma’, a medical condition characterized by the growth of benign tumors on nerves throughout the body. In Jeet’s case, the growth had tragically impaired his eyesight, hindering his ability to lead a normal life.

Also Read: PM Modi Gifts Lab-Grown Green Diamond to US First Lady: A Symbol of Sustainable Luxury

As Sarma’s attention fell upon him, Jeet had just undergone surgery at Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) and was awaiting transportation back to his village, Uttarkuchi.

The Neurofibroma had extended to Jeet’s temporal region, affecting his eyelid. At GMCH, doctors initiated a debulking procedure to gradually eliminate the tumor in stages. The initial phase of the surgery proved successful, removing a portion of the tumor.

Dr. Abhijit Sarma, GMCH superintendent, confirmed that Jeet was scheduled for a follow-up review in two weeks to proceed with the second phase of the surgery. Jeet found himself at the bus stop immediately after being discharged from the hospital.

Chief Minister Sarma’s ability to identify Jeet’s condition promptly was not due to his medical expertise, but rather his previous experience in aiding a patient with a similar ailment.

In 2018, Assamese newspapers and television channels highlighted the case of Ganesh Gor, a nine-year-old Adivasi boy from Bokakhat, known as the “bear boy” due to the distinctive shape of his face caused by Neurofibroma.

At that time, Sarma served as the Health Minister, and upon learning of Ganesh’s situation, he arranged for the young boy to receive surgery at Narayana Hrudayalaya in Bangalore. Sarma even visited Ganesh in Bangalore after the successful procedure.

Reflecting on his encounter with Jeet, Sarma recalled, “The moment I saw Jeet at the bus stop, my mind flashed back to the case of Ganesh whom I had met in 2018. I knew Jeet also had the same disease.”

Without hesitation, the Chief Minister promptly contacted Abhijit Sarma, the superintendent of GMCH, to inquire about Jeet's condition and the treatment he had received.

Sarma then directed the hospital superintendent to ensure that Jeet received the best possible medical care. Depending on the evaluation by medical experts, if necessary, Jeet will be referred outside of Assam for advanced treatment, with the state government bearing all associated expenses.

Sarma humbly expressed, “I don’t know why you are asking me about this. I and my colleagues try to help out anyone in distress. There is nothing new to it. At times, we succeed, at times we fail.”

Jeet and his family now carry an immense sense of gratitude toward the Chief Minister, hopeful that his intervention will restore Jeet’s eyesight and bring light back into his life.

The 17-year-old, who tragically lost his parents at a young age, currently resides with his uncle and works at a local chicken shop.