On Sunday, she took her first steps towards her dream to be an IAS officer. On Thursday, the ground had shifted and both her legs were gone. In an all-too-usual mishap, 22-year-old Sayali Sanjay Dhamdhere fell off a crowded train at Kalyan station and went right into the gap between the footboard and the platform.

Sayali Dhamdere is currently undergoing treatment at Jupiter Hospital and is surrounded by family and friends
Sayali Dhamdere is currently undergoing treatment at Jupiter Hospital and is surrounded by family and friends

A resident of Pune who had meticulously been preparing for the last 18 months for her UPSC exam, Sayali had set her eyes on the goal long before that. She had been inspired by her cousin sister — a police sub-inspector — to pursue a career in public service, and to that end, she was in the city to appear for the UPSC exam at Sydenham College on Sunday. She had come with a gaggle of friends and her cousin, Ranjeet Dhamdere, who returned home after the exam. “On Sunday, we appeared for the SIAC (State Institute of Administrative Career) — an exam for UPSC. After Sunday, I returned to Pune, but Sayali decided to stay back for three more days at her relative’s place in Dombivli,” said Ranjeet. On Thursday, that decision came to haunt her as tragedy befell when she was rushing to board the train back to Pune and lost her balance.

Helpless in the gap
In what routinely happens in the overcrowded locals of Mumbai, when Sayali fell off the Indrayani Express, she ended up going through the gap between the footboard and the platform, and the train then ran over both her legs. “Her cousin who was accompanying her boarded the train, but when Sayali got on, she lost control as she had a bag on her back. She came under the train and it was only after the train was gone that the extent of the injury became apparent,” said Sainath Bhor, Sayali’s schoolteacher, who has also come down to the Jupiter Hospital.

With grievous injuries, the decision to amputate both her legs was taken and she is now undergoing treatment in the ICU of Jupiter Hospital at Thane. “When I heard about the accident, I was completely shocked,” said Ranjeet, as he now sits with her in the hospital.

Hospital denied admittance
Sayali was then rushed to the Rukmani Bai Hospital in Kalyan with a police constable and her cousin in tow, but the family claims that she was refused admission in the hospital. Later, she was shifted to Jupiter Hospital in Thane where she is undergoing treatment. Umesh Shirodkar, PRO of Jupiter Hospital said, “The girl is at present admitted to the ICU and is being kept on ventilator. She has suffered serious injuries on both her leg and has been operated upon.”

She will walk again, says father
Sayali’s father, Sanjay Dhamdhere (54), a resident of Udapur taluka in Pune, is a teacher in a rural school. Since she gained consciousness, she has been leaning on him for support. And ever optimistic, her father has assured her that he will make her walk again within two months. “I will do all possible things to see my daughter walking again,” he said.

Helping hands
If you would like to help out in Sayali’s treatment, you can contact her kin, Jalandar Ukirde at 9967414069 or Santosh Shinde at 9821591620