The family of Dhaval Lodaya is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that no one else undergoes the tragedy they had to suffer. Friends of the 18-year-old who died after the Kasara-CST local train derailed last Thursday claim no one came forward to help take Dhaval to a hospital.
(Left to right) Dhaval’s friends Mandip Rajgor, Jay Lodaria, and Karan Gajjar alleged that a local corporator refused to help them take their friend to the hospital. Pic/Prashant Waydande
Family and friends will protest this morning at Ghatkopar station, taking signatures for their campaign, demanding facilities to provide immediate help to accident victims. At a prayer meeting held yesterday at Lion’s Club, Ghatkopar, the group managed to collect more than 2,000 signatures.
His friends have also formed a Facebook page, ‘Justice for Dhaval’, which received 18,183 likes. Dhaval had gone to a temple in Asangaon with his friends, Jay Lodaria, Mandip Rajgor and Karan Gajjar (17). Dhaval’s father Mayur said, “Dhaval’s friends told me he didn’t receive any assistance from doctors or the police. He lay on the tracks for 1.5 hours.
His friends told me they asked a local corporator at the spot to get a car to take my boy to hospital. But, he told them he only had a bike, and that they could use that. These kids couldn’t manage to take him alone. The corporator then left.”
Jay added, “The police were busy taking pictures and placing barricades instead of helping us take Dhaval to the hospital.” According to Mayur, when the ambulance came Dhaval was bleeding from his ears and nose. “He lost a lot of blood in that delay. Even then, no one came forward to help. Only two journalists helped place him on the stretcher,” he said.
The doctor who performed Dhaval’s post-mortem at Rukminibai Hospital, Kalyan, said, “The cause of death is haemorrhagic shock due to a fractured skull and injury to vital organs. In such cases, if a patient is brought early, there are chances of survival.”
As a tribute to Dhaval, the group has decided to fight for the cause of providing timely medical assistance to victims. The group will meet today at Ghatkopar station, gather signatures and go to CST to submit their demands to the authorities. Ketan Karani, a family friend, said, “The authorities can’t run away from their responsibilities by paying compensation. Our protest is to demand that they improve.”
Justice for Dhaval
Here are a few of the points that the group wants the railways to look into immediately.
>> First aid, stretchers should be available
>> Ambulances should be deployed outside every station
>> Provide medical first aid box for victims inside the train with motormen or any of the railway coaches
>> Space should be made available outside railway stations for ambulances instead of hawkers
Atul Rane, PRO, Central Railway, clarified, “Because the accident happened between two stations, we have to first identify who the victims are, and only passengers can help us do so. Had it happened at a railway station and the staff denied help, the railway can be held responsible. But prima facie, no such thing is seen.
“Railways can’t be held responsible, as the accident happened between two stations and it takes time to reach the tracks. We do accept that had there been designated ambulances near the station, we could’ve helped the victim reach the hospital within 15 minutes.”
He added, “We have appealed and requested the state government to help railways enhance the deployment of ambulances to at least one per station. The state government has nominated 26 ambulances to all 26 railway stations from Churchgate to Virar. But, on Central Railway, there are 76 stations and the state government has nominated ambulances only till Mulund. An inquiry will be held on this train derailment.”