Mumbai: Left partially paralysed in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, NSG commando P.V. Manesh is now glad that the Kerala government is ready to pay the cost of his ayurveda treatment with which he hopes to be up and about.
'I am glad that the cost of my treatment is finally approved. I thank my seniors who helped me with it,' Manesh told IANS over phone from his residence in Azhikode in Kerala's Kannur district. Earlier, there was some delay in the approval.
Now rehabilitated in his parent force Indian Army's Madras Regiment as a Naik, Manesh declined to reveal details about the approval, the sanctioning authority and from which date the cost will be reimbursed.
Manesh, 35, had shot dead one of the 10 terrorists during the 26/11 attacks. He was then hit in the head by a grenade splinter when he was attempting to save the hostages in the Oberoi Trident Hotel at Nariman Point in south Mumbai.
Ayurveda was his last hope to treat and cure the right side of his body that was paralysed, due to the grenade attack injuries, he said.
The armyman, who travels by train every fortnight to a hospital 300 km away in Ottapalam's Karuna Hospital in Palakkad district for treatment, said it costs Rs.2,000 every time - or Rs.4,000 per month over two sessions.
'The doctors there don't charge for consultation but I have to spend on travel and medicines. But I have complete faith in ayurveda and feel it has improved my condition,' he said.
'When I started the treatment a year ago, I could not walk. I was wheelchair bound. But now I can walk small distances with the help of a walking stick. This was made possible only after I started the ayurvedic treatment,' he added.
Recalling the horror of the Mumbai attacks, Manesh said that his commando team was air-dropped on the roof of the Oberoi Trident Hotel in the early hours of November 28, 2008.
'Starting from the top, we raided each room, rescuing around 40 people trapped inside. When we moved to the rooms on the second floor and blasted open the doors, I saw the tip of an AK-47 rifle behind a curtain.'
'I fired immediately and killed that terrorist. Then I saw a second man hurl a grenade at me. I tried shooting him and dived to catch the grenade. But it fell on my helmet,' he said.
Manesh slipped into a coma for four months and regained the capacity to speak only after six months. Of the grenade's three shrapnel pieces that pierced his head, two were removed. One is still embedded inside.
Manesh is currently living with his wife Seema and son Yadukrishnan at his ancestral home along with his aged parents.
He dreams of taking his family to Mumbai's Oberoi Trident one day. 'I want to take my wife and kid to that beautiful hotel once in my life,' he said.