Mumbai teen's escape from death leaves father buried with medical bills

The bulk of a train may have spared his life, but the high cost of continuing to live may not. Despite six bogies of a local train passing over Navi Mumbai resident Kamlesh Shinde at Juinagar station, he managed to come out from below the train with his limbs intact.

Kamlesh’s father, a mathadi kamgar worker, earns Rs 8,000 a month and cannot afford to foot the medical tab

Although the boy’s condition is stable now, his father who is a mathadi kamgar (daily wager) has been trying hard to accumulate funds for the boy’s treatment. Kamlesh is the only hope of his father who has spent a lot of money on his education, his kin say. On May 21, MiD DAY had reported about the Navi Mumbai teenager who had a close shave with death (‘19-yr-old comes under six bogies of train, survives’). Prakash Shinde, a labourer, blames the protest by traders against local body tax (LBT) for making things difficult for him.

The MiD DAY report on May 21

“I work at Vashi’s APMC market and with the protest against LBT, traders shut business for a long time. We are labourers who get daily wages, and on the days when the traders shut shop, we were left with no work and did not get any pay. We are facing a financial crunch. Bearing my son’s medical expenses is getting troublesome,” says his father, who earns around Rs 8,000 a month.

The Shindes have taken a loan of Rs 25,000 from one of their relatives for Kamlesh’s treatment. Doctors at DY Patil Hospital in Nerul said that the entire cost of Kamlesh’s treatment could go up to Rs 50,000. Kamlesh’s elder brother Kiran (22), who works in the MIDC area in Turbhe, was the first to reach the hospital on the day of the accident.

While speaking to MiD DAY, he said, “We are grateful to God for saving him from such a horrible accident. We are trying our best to collect funds for his treatment. He is the hope of our family. My father is letting him study as much as he wants so he can make us proud.” On Monday, Kamlesh, a Commerce student at a Sanpada college, will undergo a skin grafting operation and thereafter stay in the hospital for at least a week.

Near-fatal fall
On the morning of May 17, Kamlesh was waiting to board a train to CST from Juinagar when he craned his neck to see the approaching train and fell on the tracks. But he couldn’t get back up on the platform as his shoe got stuck in the tracks.

So he lay down prostrate with his hands covering his head. Some six bogies passed over him and then the train halted at the platform. Kamlesh squeezed himself out through the gap between the train and the platform. But when he scrambled back up, his left hand was bleeding heavily and he passed out.

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