Ghaziabad, Apr 27: A 19-month-old kid collapsed on Friday after licking a toxic brinjal bought from a leading departmental store here and had to be kept in the ICU of a hospital, reports the Delhi tabloid Mail Today.
The incident took place in Raj Nagar here and has raised serious questions about the presence of toxic pesticide content in fruits and vegetables.
“On the day, as I opened the refrigerator, Zeus ( the victim) crept up behind me and pulled out a bag of brinjals, which got scattered all over the floor. He picked up one of them and began to play with it and we let him,” Zeus's grandmother Rajini Dev said.
“Within minutes, however, he fell unconscious and subsequently started exhibiting fit- like symptoms. We immediately took him to a local doctor, who at once attributed his condition to the consumption of a toxic substance. He referred him to Gargi Hospital,” the sector- 6 resident said.
Docs blame pesticide residue in vegetable reaffirmed the local medic Dr Ajit Kapur's diagnosis.
“When we told him that he had licked the brinjal, the doctors deduced that the vegetable may have contained a large amount of pesticide. There was no other explanation,” she said.
At the ICU, the toxic substance was flushed out of Zeus's stomach through a series of procedures. The child vomited several times and was administered several drips before he regained consciousness. He remained in the ICU for 72 hours, the family said.
The family, however, has no plans to hold the departmental store to task for the ‘ toxic' brinjal.
“We did inform them about the incident. But they denied all blame, claiming that they washed all the vegetables properly,” Rajini said.
“We did not make a hue and cry as our child survived. God forbid, had something untoward happened, we would not have spared them.”
Dr Kapur said: “ The child was brought to me in a drowsy condition. Though we had no idea about what he had consumed, all the symptoms suggested his condition was the result of a toxic substance.” The local administration, however, said they could not have pre- empted the accident.
Asked about the alarming rise of pesticide levels in the vegetables available in markets, district magistrate Aparna U. said: “ Presence of pesticide residue in vegetables is definitely an issue but the authority to check it doesn't lie with us. There is nothing at the farmers' level to oversee pesticide regulation.”
“Furthermore, in this case, no comparative tests were conducted to check the level of pesticides in the brinjal. Had there been sound proof regarding the same, we would have done something,” she said.