The issue of compensation to victims in the Nand Nagri fire incident has Delhi government officials confused. Usually compensation is awarded to the next kith and kin of the victims.
But the 16 victims of the Nand Nagri fire were eunuchs. Government officials are finding the task of locating their families arduous as most eunuchs usually part ways with their families at a very young age.
However, government rules insist that the compensation be awarded to only the next of kin.
“These eunuchs don’t have families. They stay with their groups. It is very difficult for group members to prove that they are legal claimants as they don’t have any official document. So verifying these claims is going to be very difficult for us,” said a government official.
On Monday, however, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit visited the hospital and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.
She also announced that those with major injuries would be given an amount of Rs 50,000 and patients with minor injuries would be awarded Rs 10,000 as financial assistance after verification.
Sixteen eunuchs were charred to death and 33 were seriously injured when a fire broke out during a eunuch conclave in east Delhi ’s Nand Nagri.
Of the dead, only six have been identified. “Some groups have made claims for compensation, but they haven’t produced any legal documents that identify the deceased as a part of their group,” the official added.
In India, eunuchs usually leave their families at a young age to join their community. Many a time, they are forced to join a group. Each group has a head who is also a guru to all his disciples. “We are hoping these group heads know the whereabouts of the families of the deceased,” the official said.