Rajaram Chavan was waiting at Borivli station on his way to Santacruz, where he works as a security guard, when he saw a bomb explode — the second of 11/7’s seven blasts. Chavan, sitting at the time, was hurled to the ground just as the bottom half of his left leg landed a few feet away.
On Saturday, Chavan underwent his second operation at Bhagwati Hospital to seal the wound below his left knee. A couple of months later, he will be fitted with a Jaipur foot at KEM Hospital. “But I can never go back to my job,” says the 35-yearold. “My only hope is that the government gives me a telephone or milk booth outside a station.” Chavan, the only earning member in a family of three, made Rs 3,000 working as a guard at a diamond-cutting firm in Kalina. This was just about enough for the electricity and phone bills and take care of his 32-year-old wife and seven-year-old son Dharmesh and cover expenses.
The compensation — Rs 50,000 each from the Railways and the state — will take care of the family’s needs for the next few months, but Chavan and his wife Megha (32) are worried about what he’ll do after that. While their neighbours in Babrekar Nagar, Kandivli, are looking after Dharmesh while Megha cares for her husband, the Chavans say the future is bleak.
Even after Chavan gets the prosthetic, rehabilitation will take three to four months more. “Then, I need to find a way to take care of my family,” says Chavan, a class 12 dropout. He needs a job that does not require too much movement and money for his son’s education.