At 10, she is both mom & dad | india | Hindustan Times
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At 10, she is both mom & dad

Ten-year-old Pooja Singh walked up to the rescue workers around 11am on Sunday and pointed towards the spot where her father Phool Singh could be found buried under the debris.

india Updated: Jul 17, 2011 23:28 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal

Ten-year-old Pooja Singh walked up to the rescue workers around 11am on Sunday and pointed towards the spot where her father Phool Singh could be found buried under the debris.

A construction worker, her father was among those who got crushed in the building collapse incident at Shalimar Garden in Ghaziabad on Saturday.

Unknown to what the future has to offer, the minor stood at the crash site and silently waited for hours for her father to return. All this while she was holding on to her four other siblings, including an infant sister whom she fed through a milk bottle.

Probably as a sign of dissent against the builders and officials or of someone with no hope, Pooja denied any food offered to her. "I don't know what to do now. I have to look after my brother and sisters," Pooja told Hindustan Times.

It took rescue workers five hours to drill through the spot Pooja had pointed out but only to find her father's lifeless body.

Adding to the miseries of this family, officials confirmed that the unidentified woman, who was brought dead to Narendra Mohan Hospital on Saturday evening, was Pooja's mother Chanda Devi.

On Sunday evening the UP government announced a compensation of R1 lakh to the kin of deceased and R25,000 to those injured. The UP police, unable to nab the top officials of the builder's firm, looked on in despair at the grief-struck siblings in a tent erected near the crash site.

Meanwhile, showing composure much beyond her years, Pooja silently left for the hospital in the ambulance with her father's body. Hundreds of neighbours and onlookers turned up to share the family's grief, while women cried and shocked men cursed the builders and the government.