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Loved ones lost, children scarred for life...

Loved ones lost, children scarred for will never be the same for these survivors, writes Kiran Wadhwa.

india Updated: Jul 28, 2008 01:25 IST
Kiran Wadhwa

Still looking for hands and legs

Most of Purshotam Patel’s family is now just a pile of body parts. The hospital worker spent the day looking for the bodies of his children, Rohan and Shraddha, and his father.

“In the morning paper we saw the torso of grandfather and realised that he was no more. We spent the whole night looking for them, but didn't think that only parts of them would be left,” said the children’s uncle, Girdhar. After finding the torso of his father, Purshotam found his daughter's frock and her legs, with anklets. He then found his son’s leg and arm. The rest is still missing.

“We cannot even perform the last rites because the hospital has to do a DNA test, but we recognize our children,” added Girdhir. The parents are too shocked to speak.

The children went with their grandfather to give their grandmother her tiffin. Their grandmother works in the hospital and the children would go everyday to meet her because they would be asleep when she returned. On Sunday night she returned, but they didn't.

Lost in translation

Nisha (7) and Purohit Solanki (9) were playing in the hospital ground. Their parents had gone to meet someone inside. Bored of waiting the entrance, they went to the adjoining field. As they began their game, they heard the first blast. Too frightened to move, the second blast that took place after six minutes, left them scared for life.

“After the blasts, we rushed out of the hospital but they were nowhere to be seen. We then spotted them near the playground,” said their father Shailesh. The children have got several stitches. They both are so shocked that they have lost their voice. “I have been trying to make them speak but they are just not talking,” said their mother, Rati.

Left with a metal rod

Dhanaji Bhai lies on a bloodstained bed at the City Civil Hospital in Shahibaug. His sister, Prema, is using a newspaper to fan away the flies from his exposed burns. Dhanaji Bhai had come to visit a distant relative when the bomb exploded outside the trauma centre.

He lost his balance and got up and began scrambling away only to run straight into another blast, six minutes later.

Through painful groans because of a broken leg that is now supported by a metal rod, he asks for his two children.

“He earns Rs 50 a day. We do not enough money to eat, how will pay for all the medicines,” said Prema. “The last thing you expect is that a hospital is unsafe.”

‘I was only trying to help’

The 20-year-old is charred from head to toe. Bhavesh Kabir, who lives in the nearby quarters, ran to help the blast victims who were coming in to the hospital. When he was getting a trolley for one of them, the blast flung him and the trolley 10 feet away.

The burns are so severe that the hospital had to install two table fans near him to reduce his body temperature.

“I only came to help, why did this happen to me?” he mumbles helplessly. His weeping mother sits next to him. “He ran the moment he heard about the blasts in the city. Unselfishly, he thought of helping others and this is what he gets in return,” she said.