Monday, November 29, 1999

Family banks on football therapy for Dasmunsi

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Kolkata, June 17 -- It's a wait for a soccer miracle in a hospital. When Brazilian superstars Kaka, Robinho and Fabiano failed to deliver their samba magic against North Korea on Tuesday night, Deepa Dasmunsi was unhappy. The wife of former Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi is now hoping 'football therapy' will stimulate the nerves of her husband who has been in a coma for the past 18 months. His room at Delhi's Apollo Hospital reverberates with the sound of World Cup football matches every day. "The hope is the nerves and brain cells of Priya Ranjan, a great football lover and ardent fan of Brazil, might respond to the dribbles, dodges and swerves the men in yellow and green produce in South Africa," said Partha Bhowmik, a childhood friend of the former minister. The TV set was switched on during the Brazil-North Korea match from midnight till 2 o'clock on Wednesday morning. "Priya didn't close his eyes as long as the match went on," Deepa told HT on the phone from Delhi. Dasmunsi was taken to Dusseldorf in Germany for stem cell therapy. But the Congress leader showed no sign of improvement except gaining weight. After all kinds of conventional and alternative therapies have failed to revive Dasmunsi, his family has now pinned its hopes on the football frenzy. "He stares at the television, but shows no response. Doctors say only time can give his brain cells a new life," Deepa said.

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