Mumbra building collapse: Cheques bring in little relief for victims

Apr 10, 2013, 11:04 IST | Naveen Nair

Injured and kin of deceased in last week's building collapse have been given Rs 50,000 and Rs 2 lakh but financial aid has not been able to compensate for their shattered lives

With every passing day, more stories of loss and grief emerge from the catastrophe that struck Lucky Compound in Mumbra area of Thane last Thursday. The relief money is woefully inadequate to heal their hearts.

Imran Sayyed (28), who lost his pregnant wife Sakina in the mishap, has severely injured his left leg. He plans to use the compensation amount of Rs 50,000 partly for his treatment and the rest “to secure his children’s future”. Being the only breadwinner of the family, he is worried that he may not be able to get back to work for the next six months.

Miracle Baby: The 10-month-old child, who was found alive under the rubble after more than 24 hours, is yet to be claimed by kin. She is currently being taken care of by the staff at Chhatrapati Shivaji Hospital in Kalwa

His children, Falak (2) and Sadaf (1) luckily escaped without injuries. Imran said, “Falak was with her grandmother when the building collapsed and Sadaf was in the building. She was rescued after 24 hours from the debris.

The other 15 members of my family have all passed away.” Imran’s mother, Saiku Sayyed (50), managed to escape the collapse as she had stepped out to drop her granddaughter to her tuition class.

‘I couldn’t save her’
For a survivor who lost her daughter, Sunita Yadav (30) is now left with only the post-mortem reports as proof of her relationship with her child. While her husband Bapu Yadav (35) and their son Ankit (4) survived the accident, the couple’s seven-year-old daughter Antima did not.

Sunita, who could manage only to save her son, said, “We have received the compensation cheque but the thought of my daughter brings me unbearable grief. When the building collapsed, I managed to tuck my son under me but my daughter could not be saved in time.”

Sunita and Ankit were rescued after almost 24 hours. “I formed a protective umbrella over my son and remained in that position until the rescue team pulled us out of the rubble on Friday night,” she said.

Unclaimed lives
A 10-month-old baby girl who survived the collapse is still in the care of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital authorities, as they haven’t received any verifiable or valid claims from her next of kin.

Dr Sadanand Waghchoure, medical superintendent at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital in Kalwa, said, “We haven’t received any communication from any unknown relatives or from the police. A few individuals claimed to know the child but none of their claims could be proven. We can’t handover the child to anyone unless the relationship is adequately proved and authenticated by the police.”

Dr Waghchoure added that the baby is fit to be discharged but will be in the hospital’s care till the authorities receive further directions from the police.

At Thane Civil Hospital, seven dead bodies are lying unclaimed even as authorities find themselves unable to verify the claims of those who say they are kin of the deceased.

Dr A B Nandpurkar, medical superintendent, Thane Civil Hospital said, “One of the seven unclaimed bodies has been claimed to be that of one Kiran Thakur by some people who say they are her relatives. So far there has been no solid proof of these claims. We are waiting for the relatives of the other deceased to come and personally identify the bodies.” 

Figures speak
Thane Civil Hospital:
Total post-mortems conducted: 39
Total unclaimed bodies: 7 (2 males, 3 females, 2 children)
Total unidentified bodies:
6 (2 males, 2 females, 2 children) 

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