Friends and family of Charu Khandal, 28, who sustained grievous injuries after she became victim to a drunk driving accident at Oshiwara in the early hours of Sunday, have started a Facebook campaign to garner support against drunk driving.
"Charu has every right to live. Who gave that drunk man the right to decide otherwise for her? Who gave him the right to decide that she’ll spend the rest of her life bedridden? All her dreams, her desires have been crushed. This Facebook page is to create awareness against drink-driving so that no one else falls prey to such instances again," said Mauli Singh, Khandal’s friend.
Charu Khandal, her sister Mona, 25, and a friend, Vikrant Goyal, 26, were on their way to Malad from Juhu, when the auto rickshaw they were in was rammed from behind by a speeding Honda City car at Oshiwara.
The driver of the car, Manoj Netrapal, was in an inebriated condition, according to the police. Netrapal was arrested immediately after the accident. He was booked for causing grievous hurt, rash and negligent driving and driving under the influence of alcohol, and was let off on a surety of Rs 10,000. The three victims, meanwhile, were immediately rushed to Kokilaben Ambani Hospital. Mona got away with minor injuries, but Khandal and Goyal lost consciousness. Goyal later regained consciousness but has lost sensation from the waist downwards.
Friends and relatives of Khandal said that she was due to get engaged in the next 10 days to Sagar Thakker, 29, a graphic designer who she had known for two years. "Their families had met and approved of each other. Charu was really excited because things were going well for her on the personal and professional front. That is why she wanted to celebrate," said Esha Lepcha, another friend of Khandal.
Khandal, who hails from Jaipur, arrived in Mumbai two years ago and recently joined Red Chillies Entertainment as an animator on a contract basis. Her parents arrived in Mumbai on Sunday morning. Her father, Ashok, is a professor in a Jaipur college, while her mother is a homemaker.
Meanwhile, Vikrant Goyal, who works for a Pune-based hotel, is extremely depressed, his friends said. "He cannot believe that he has lost all sensation in the lower half of his body. Only two days ago, he was partying to celebrate his friend’s success," said Singh.