While Sandeep Asolkar (32) spends any other day standing as security personnel, he may never be able to stand unassisted again, after several members of his dahi handi group fell on him during a climb yesterday.
A resident of Vakola, Santacruz (E), Asolkar was employed as a security guard with Maharashtra Private Security Guards. He had left his house in the morning to join the 100 plus govindas belonging to Mahasangh Mandal.
According to close friends and family, Sandeep was at the base of the human pyramid, when some boys from the higher levels lost their balance and fell on him.
“Initially, we did not sense the impact of fall, but when we saw Sandeep on the ground unable to get up, we realised that something was a wrong. He was finding it difficult to lift his body and was not allowing anybody to touch him around his neck,” said a mandal member.
Sandeep was taken to V N Desai hospital in Santacruz around 11 am where he was given only preliminary support treatment, as the hospital did not have an MRI facility. Doctors arranged for an ambulance to get the MRI done from Parel, where he reached only after 4 pm.
A hospital staff, who accompanied the ambulance, said, “The doctor could have easily sent the patient to a nearby MRI centre, but he specifically insisted that the patient be taken to Parel. Also in the entire process, our ambulance was blocked for a single patient. We can only obey instructions from the doctors.”
Sandeep was later transferred to KEM hospital, where he will be undergoing further course of treatment and is expected to undergo a major surgery for cervical dislocation.
According to Dr Pradeep Bhosale, Professor and Head of Department (Orthopedic) at KEM hospital, “Sandeep has sustained serious injuries to his cervical neck vertebra with separation of alignment of spine, and has shown signs of being quadriplegic.
His prognosis is very poor and he will have to undergo a major surgery. He will require few months of hospital stay and it would be very difficult to say if he can play Govinda ever again.”
Bhosale added that there were six serious cases reported yesterday, along with 20 odd cases of minor injuries that were treated and discharged. However, the list of causalities was much lesser than previous years, said the doctor.
One dead in Thane pyramid collapse
Deepak Tupe, a 35-year-old Kurla resident, lost his life in a bid to break a handi at Gaurishankar Mitra Mandal at Panchpakhadi in Thane last evening.
Tupe, along with the Govinda troupe of Hanuman Mitra Mandal, was forming the human pyramid when he fell from the topmost level. He was immediately rushed to Thane Civil Hospital where he was declared dead upon arrival.
NCP leader Jitendra Avhad has declared a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the family of the deceased. In 2010, two boys had lost their lives during the festival. The number of injured has reached 225. Last year, the number was a mammoth 308, whereas in 2010, around 170 people were injured.