A year after Rita Kumari (name changed) was hit by a bullet at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) on 26/11, she is still visiting KEM Hospital’s psychiatry department for counselling.
While the physical injuries have healed, Kumari still gets panic attacks, cannot sleep at night and has low self-esteem. “I wish she had come to us earlier,” said Dr Shubhangi Parkar, who heads the psychiatry department at KEM hospital. Kumari opted for counseling only six months ago when her mental condition deteriorated.
“There is a complete lack of awareness in our country on post traumatic stress disorder,” said Parkar, who is counselling two more CST victims.
The state government did not do enough to arrange counselling or healing sessions for victims.
Of the 97 CST victims, three went to KEM Hospital for counseling on their own.
Around 40 are only now getting help from the Taj Public Service Welfare Trust, set up by the Taj Group to assist 26/11 victims.
Hindustan Times had on November 24 reported that even after a year’s counselling some of the Taj employees are still to heal.
The same counsellors have now extended a helping hand to CST victims, whose condition they said is worse.
“We began counselling sessions with CST victims last week and we can make out from their faces that they are still under immense trauma,” said a counsellor. Financial insecurity, joblessness and lack of prompt therapy made the road to recovery more difficult for these terror victims.
Taj employees showed quick recovery as they were immediately assured job security, said counsellors. Also, at Taj, even employees who claimed that they were feeling better were still asked to continue therapy.
“The incident was too traumatic for anyone to overcome on their own, ” said a senior management employee from Taj. Family members of the affected employees were also counselled.
The sessions are held at the Taj Lands End at Bandra and six outreach centres set up by Taj Trust.