Punctuality can sometimes have tragic consequences. Dhiraj Rathod (54), a superintendent with the Central Excise Department office in Worli, took the 6.07 pm train from Elphinstone Road every day to his Borivli home. On 11/7, his promptness cost him his right forearm: Rathod was in the first class compartment of the local that blew up near Khar.
Today, Rathod and his wife Kanchan (42) put on a brave face in Ward 37 of KEM Hospital. But the worries are many. Rathod, who made Rs 20,000 a month and is the only earning member in a family of six, may never be able to work again.
Rathod’s right forearm had to be amputated — he’s right-handed. He’s lost all hearing in his right ear and constantly asks for questions to be repeated as he is hard of hearing in his left. It will be a few more weeks before he can leave hospital. But none of this bothers Rathod as much as his uncertain future.
His daughters Priyanka (12) and Jignasha (10) want to pursue careers in science. “But that will cost a lot of money,” says Kanchan. Besides, Rathod’s 92-year-old father and 83year-old mother are also dependent on him.
The Rs 50,000 compensation from the railways, Kanchan says, is piffling in view of the money it will take to get him a prosthetic arm. “That’s only the beginning,” says Rathod. “How will I support my family and fund my daughters’ education?” HT’s taking the first step by sponsoring the prosthetic. Will you help too?