On Wednesday, two weeks after being injured in the July 13 serial blasts, Raju Yadav prepared to leave JJ Hospital.
He should have been relieved - at being alive and at being discharged from the hospital even as several others lay injured. However, Yadav's face was fraught with anxiety.
"I am getting discharged today. But now, besides taking care of my health, I need to find a new job," said Yadav, who ran a khaman dhokala stall in Khau Galli, Zaveri Bazaar. He sustained superficial head injuries and minor burns in the blasts, but his source of livelihood was damaged beyond repair. "The stall was destroyed in the blast and the area has now been cordoned off by the police," he added. Besides treatment for physical injuries, the 40-year-old also underwent psychological counseling to help him get over the trauma, said doctors at JJ Hospital.
Victims and their families are dealing with insecurities about their future post the tragedy. "Treatment at the hospital is free. But what about life after the discharge? My husband is the sole earning member of the family," said Ruta Joshi, whose 34-year-old husband Prashant Joshi is recuperating at the critical care unit of JJ Hospital. He suffered serious head and burn injuries in the explosion at Zaveri Bazar.
At KEM Hospital, 45-year-old Shirish Kandalgaonkar was happy when doctors told him that he was fit and would be discharged soon. "He is eager to go home now," said his brother Shailesh. The blast affected Shirish's hearing capacity. "My ears sustained internal injuries in the blast," said Shirish.
The 16 victims of the blasts recuperating at JJ Hospital include five critical patients. "We plan to conduct surgeries, provide medicines and other materials — such as walkers and artificial limbs — free of cost to these patients even after their discharge," said Dr TP Lahane, dean, JJ Hospital.
The patients in the burns ward unit of the hospital are undergoing skin grafting. "We did skin grafting for four patients today," Dr Lahane said.
At the KEM Hospital, all blast victims were provided psychological counselling and psychiatric help. "Right from the first day, we tried to counsel the patients as well as their families about post-traumatic shocks," said Dr Sanjay Oak, dean, KEM Hospital.