Looking for life's savings in debris

Sep 28, 2012, 08:28 IST | Sukirt D Gumaste and Apeksha Kshirsagar

The collapse of Somnath building at Taljai hills four days ago has left some innocent individuals high and dry.

Dilip Shinde, a labourer who has worked hard to save up to buy his son a two-wheeler, lost his all savings and ornaments in the mishap. For the past two days, he and his family have been digging frantically in the rubble of what was once their home, to try and find their money and gold. So far however, their desperate efforts have borne no fruit.

Shell shocked: The Shinde family currently live in this temporary shed without any household items, bathroom or water supply. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

The ill-fated building was home to several families who have now been left homeless. Another resident family with the same last name is yet to regain control of their shattered lives. Sayali Kamble’s condition continues to remain serious and the family is yet to be given any sort of temporary shelter. Currently, their home is at the side of their daughters Sayali and Namrata, who are admitted in Bharti Hospital after being extracted from the debris on Monday.

Though the Shinde family lost all their possessions and cash, there were no casualties in their family as they were not at home when the building collapsed. “We lost our refrigerator, TV, furniture, 25 grams of gold and Rs 35,000 in cash, which we were saving for the past many years to buy a vehicle. In moments we have lost everything,” said Dilip, who is staying in a temporary tin shed with his wife Laxmi and three sons Sachin, Amar, Raju.

The Shinde family was staying at the ground floor of Somnath building for a monthly rent of Rs 700. The shed that is now their temporary home lacks a toilet and has no facility for water. “The neighbours have helped us with food and other things. The municipal corporation authorities promised us compensation, but till that happens, it will be difficult to survive without basic necessities,” said Laxmi Shinde.

Nagesh Kamble, Sayali and Namrata’s father says he is grateful for the fact that the hospital has been kind. “We are staying at the hospital since Sayali and Namrata are admitted. All expenses are being taken care of by the hospital for now. We are waiting for compensation of these expenses as well as for our house from the higher authorities,” Nagesh said.
The National Service Scheme (NSS) of the University of Pune has come to the aid of the two families that have lost their homes.

The NSS have given the families utensils, clothes and will be providing them grocery items shortly. Shakera Inamdar of NSS said, “We are supporting the two families affected in the incident and also helping in reconstruction of the Anganwadi that was razed. We have gathered donations from the students as well as from various Ganesh mandals.”   

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