Mahad building crash: Hero who saved 30 people, now homeless

Updated: 23 September, 2020 08:06 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

The building, where Naveed Duste stayed with his family in a rented flat, has been declared dilapidated; while his aged parents spend most of their time with him at the hospital, his wife and son stay with her parents

Al Qasim building where Duste stayed  has been vacated
Al Qasim building where Duste stayed has been vacated

The wife and elderly parents of Naveed Duste, 35, whose leg had to be amputated after he was trapped in the debris of Tarique Garden in Mahad while saving 30 lives, have had to vacate their rented house, as the Mahad Municipal Council declared the building dilapidated.

With nowhere to go, the elderly parents spend most of their time at Apollo Hospital, where Duste is being treated, while his wife and child stay with her parents in Mumbra. Duste's leg has developed a minor infection, resulting in slow healing.

Parvez Kauchali, the brother-in-law of Duste, said, "Naveed and his family stayed in the rented flat in Al Qasim building for over a decade. But soon after the Tarqiue Garden collapse, the local Municipal Council and district administration found Al Qasim to be one of the few buildings in bad shape and directed the handful of families staying there to vacate it."

A file picture of Hafiz and Munira, Duste's parents outside Apollo Hospital
A file picture of Hafiz and Munira, Duste's parents outside Apollo Hospital

"We have not told this to Naveed so far" said Imran Karbari, another brother-in-law of Duste. Kauchali added, "We do not want Naveed to be more stressed. He is already concerned about his future with an amputated leg and no job in hand. If he now learns that even his rented house has gone, he will be under tremendous pressure."

Read: Bhiwandi building collapse: Poor tenants should be provided transit accommodation

Trust says will help

He added, "After the notice for eviction was pasted on the building, the municipal council, directed people to vacate the premises. We shifted all their furniture and belongings to a relative's house, in Mahad."

According to Kauchali, the district administration has already issued notices to hundreds of buildings in and around Mahad, which have been found to have some structural damage or cracks. Unfortunately, Al Qasim's builder, Mehboob Kalvekar, who also resides in the building, also had to vacate. It is learnt that the builder may either carry out major repairs or can reconstruct the entire building. Attempts to contact Kalvekar did not yield any result.

Mufti Rafiq Purkar, president of Anujman Dardmandan e Talim wa Taraqqi, a charitable trust said, "It is unfortunate that Duste's family had to vacate the house, where they lived. We will be having a meeting amongst our trust members, once he is discharged from hospital and will try our best to help him in whatever possible way."

Jivan Patil, chief officer, Municipal Council, Mahad, said, "We had vacated one or two buildings, which were in a bad condition. But most of the buildings have been given notices, asking them to submit a detailed report, after carrying out a structural audit." Nidhi Choudhary, district collector, Raigad, had earlier stated that nearly 500 dilapidated structures have been shortlisted in Raigad district and notices have been issued. "We are giving the option of immediate minor to major repairs of structures, after our staff does the inspection," she said.

Sole bread winner

Nasreen, Duste's wife and their son Nayaan , 7, are still in a state of shock and are at present staying at her parent's house in Mumbra. "Nayaan is keen to meet his father, but we are not taking them to the hospital, though we connect them through video call. He has his lunch and dinner only after a video call with his father. We have not told Nayaan about the amputation, as he is too young. For him his father was always a hero," explained Karbari.

Duste's father, Hafiz, 63, has been staying with him since he was moved to a room, few days ago. "I am happy that my son is alive, and he has made us all proud, with his great work of saving innocent lives," an emotional Hafiz said.

Munira, 58, Duste's mother visits him every day and brings him home-cooked food. Karbari added, "Naveed, was inconsolable when he learnt about his amputation, four days after the surgery. He was not able to cope with the fact that he would never be able to stand on his feet again. He was also concerned about, how he would face his wife and son, and relatives."

Karbari said Duste didn't want anyone in the family to know about his amputation, and hence shies from speaking on video call for long, with his wife and son.
When asked where Duste would stay after his discharge, he said, "We have decided to keep him and his family at a relative's place in Mahad. The biggest concern for Naveed, is to start a new life at the earliest, as he was the only bread winner, and four people were dependent on him, including his aged parents."

Duste's stay in Apollo Hospital, CBD had to be extended due to an infection in his amputated leg. When asked if the hospital has asked for any clearance of bill, the relatives said no, stating that ministers and senior administrative staff of ministers are in touch with the hospital management.

Dr Prashant Agarwal, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, said, "The patient's wound has an infection. He is on Vac dressing and stable. In another few days he will be discharged from the hospital."

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First Published: 23 September, 2020 07:09 IST

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