Mein achi ladki banungi
... (I will be a good girl),” said Devika Rotawan, clutching her doll at the JJ hospital. The 10-year-old was talking about going back to school. She had to give up studies last year because of financial troubles at home.
Devika was at CST on November 26, waiting to board a train to Pune to visit her brother. She and her father Natwarlal Rotawan were rushing towards the exit gate after the station was attacked when bullets pierced her leg. She is still recovering from that injury, and has steel rods in her legs.
The black cloud of that day, however, has a silver lining for Devika. The compensation offered by the government will come in handy in getting her back to school.
Times have been tough for the Rotawan family. Natwarlal, a distributor of dry fruits for many years, had to shut down his business because of recurring losses. The family has been going through a crisis for over two years, he rued.
“Devika’s mother died about two years ago. Devika and her brother Akash were in Classes 2 and 5, respectively, when both had to leave school last year. We were dependent on relatives even for food and shelter,” he said.
Still, he is determined not to spend the compensation amount on any other purpose. “Devika will begin her studies. I will deposit the amount in her name and will use it for her,” he said.
Devika has already undergone two surgeries and may require another, her father said. The doctors at JJ have assured him she will be able to walk normally again after the plates are removed.