When 17-year-old Pappu Sheikh went to sleep on Thursday night, little did he imagine that he would awake to the terror of having lost near about everything – his home, his belongings and the health of his family members.
After the initial tremors, Pappu and his stepmother Zhaikia (40) had the presence of mind to jump off their second-floor apartment. The duo escaped unhurt.
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However, Pappu’s birth mother Shainaz (35), who also took the plunge with them, sustained injuries to her leg.
The Sheikhs had been living in the building for over 30 years, roughly the same time the building had been around for. The patriarch of the family passed away a few years ago. Pappu had since been living with his two mothers and siblings, Neha (17) and Iqbal (16), who were admitted to the Kalsekar Hospital for severe injuries. The family had bought the house for a measly sum of Rs 20,000.
“We woke up to a loud noise. When we went near the window to see what had happened, we saw a portion of the building fall apart. We decided to jump immediately to save ourselves from coming under the rubble,” Zhaikia said. They could see the roof falling on them.
However, the two miraculously escaped without any injuries despite the magnitude of the fall. Zhaikia said that they first landed on the debris and then rolled down to the ground with the support of a bus stop nearby. She added that there had been talks of repairing the building but nothing was ever done.
Pappu, who is still in shock, was upset that his mother Shainaz was severely injured. “We have lost everything in this collapse and my mother is badly injured. We have lost all hope of getting our belongings back. Luckily, our relatives are around to help us with the hospital bills for my mother and siblings.”
Zhaikia is unsure of the family’s future. The Sheikh family members kept visiting the site every now and then in the hope that they would find some of their belongings.