While the condition of 25-year-old Preeti Rathi remains critical, her family is going through a different kind of ordeal. As Preeti recuperates in Byculla’s Masina hospital, her family is looking for a place to stay in a city that is very unfamiliar to them. Last week, Preeti was attacked by a a man, in his 20s, who flung acid at her face, as soon as she alighted from a train at Bandra Terminus. Preeti along with her family were on their maiden trip to the city.
Preeti’s father, Amarsingh Rathi who was staying in a lodge close to the hospital has been asked to look for another accommodation. “I am not capable of spending a lot of money. We have come to the city for the first time and this is the worst experience that we are going through,” Rathi said. The family has been looking for alternate arrangements, as they want to be around Preeti as much as they can, but cannot afford the exorbitant tariff charged by city hotels. However, even pleas to the railway authorities have fallen on deaf years.
“We approached the railway officials asking for an accommodation that would fit our needs but we couldn’t get much help out of them. Preeti needs us and we can’t leave the city till she gets well,” Vinod Dahiya, Preeti’s uncle who was with her on that fateful day said. However, senior Western Railway officials asserted that they have been helping the family with medical bills. “We are doing our best to help the family as the incident took place at the railway station, but we are bound by certain rules,” said the official.
Sandip Silas, divisional railway Manager, said, “We are with the family and victim and are deeply disturbed by the incident.” He added: “We are helping them as much as we can according to whatever is permissible under the rules of the Railways. We empathise with them.”
On May 2, Preeti Rathi had arrived in Mumbai to report for her first job as a nurse in Asvini Hospital, Colaba. Soon after she alighted from the train with her kin, a man tapped on her shoulder from behind on the crowded platform and flung acid on her. The incident left Preeti with 20 per cent burns on her arms, chest and face. She lost eyesight in her right eye and sustained injuries to her food and wind pipe as well.