Mumbai: Abandoned by son, 96-year-old widower loses home to municipal corporation

May 10, 2018, 07:04 IST | Anamika Gharat

Abandoned by adopted son, bedridden widower left in the lurch as municipal corporation demolishes dilapidated building all around his room

Ambadas Ninave and his neighbour Rakesh Tiwari
Ambadas Ninave and his neighbour Rakesh Tiwari

Bhiwandi resident Ambadas Ninave, 96, has spent the last seven years alone, been bedridden for two of those, and now, it looks like he will have to spend the remaining part of his life homeless, thanks to the Bhiwandi Municipal Corporation's demolition drive.

Two months ago, the civic body began demolishing the Moti building, where Ninave resides, since it is in a dilapidated condition. While they've left Ninave's flat as it is because he has nowhere to go, they refuse to shift him to an old-age home saying it is not their responsibility. Ninave lives all alone in the building in a flat which has not been cleaned in years.

Tiwari had to buy a ladder to get to Ninave's first-floor home after the demolition began
Tiwari had to buy a ladder to get to Ninave's first-floor home after the demolition began

Neither has he taken a shower in the past three months, according to his neighbour who has been taking care of him. He used to work in a power loom company and moved to the Moti building in 1970. Ninave said he and his wife spent happy times together, but after she passed away in 2012, he has sunken into a lonely existence.
Ninave said, "We did not have a biological child, so we adopted a boy. My wife was really happy and would spend the whole day with him. For almost 10 to 12 years, everything was going good. Unfortunately, our trusted son fled with all of our savings." After revealing this, Ninave went quiet.

Despite knowing about his situation, none of Ninave's relatives want to take him in either. Rakesh Tiwari, the neighbour who has been looking after Ninave said, "When we received a notice from corporation, I called two of his brothers in Ahmedabad and some distant relatives who stay in Bhiwandi, to take him to their home, but no one responded. I don't have space to keep him in my home; my mother is bedridden, too."

"After his wife's death, he has lost all hope. Since 2012, I have been helping him with his dinner and lunch. If I go out for any work, other neighbours provide him with food. Apart from that, he cannot clean himself, so for the past year, we have done that for him too but only twice or thrice. Whenever I get extra money, I call a nurse to do it. I've kept a plastic bag for his urine. His bed has not been cleaned in two years."

"And now, the corporation has increased our problems. The workers broke the steps of the building during the demolition, because of which I had to buy a ladder to reach to his house. We've requested the corporation officers so many times to help him out, but none of them listen to us," said a helpless Tiwari.

No. of years Ninave has been living all alone

The other side
When mid-day reached out to Deepak Kurulekar, deputy commissioner of Bhiwandi Municipal Corporation, he said, "The building was in a dilapidated condition, therefore we demolished it. To send a person to an old age home is not our responsibility. It is the work of an NGO. We don't have any provision to help a senior citizen who is in such a bad condition. Because he is bedridden, we will provide him with food, but who will take care of him?"

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