'Chemicals hurt us more than leak affects people' | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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'Chemicals hurt us more than leak affects people'

Raman Chinnakalai Harijan realises he might never see his father again, but he is helpless. His father, Chinnakalai Kakayen (68), worked at Haji Bunder and handled various chemicals retiring only in 2006.

mumbai Updated: Jul 16, 2010 02:15 IST

Raman Chinnakalai Harijan realises he might never see his father again, but he is helpless.

His father, Chinnakalai Kakayen (68), worked at Haji Bunder and handled various chemicals retiring only in 2006.

In early 2008, Kakayen suffered a debilitating paralytic stroke.

The stroke initially restricted the movement of his limbs, allowing him to walk only slowly. Raman wasn't surprised because he had seen several workers end up like this.

"We began his treatment slowly and thought if he goes to the village he would be better," he said.

The first visit to the village was good one.

"He came back here healthier and fitter, although he was still quite weak," Raman said.

When he went back in March this year, Kakayen's health started deteriorating. Now, he can't walk or move his hands.

"The paralysis has affected him badly," Raman said. "His treatment is on but we can't afford too many medicines for him."

Raman's older brother takes care of the father. Raman can't afford to with his monthly earnings of Rs 3,000.

"I can't bring him here because he is totally immobile now. I can't afford to bunk work and go there either."

Raman has been a mathadi worker for the last 10 years.

"I know those chemicals might hurt us more than this leak hurt people. But do we really have a choice?"