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Delhi sewer tragedy tears apart family, leaves five children fatherless

There are six children in the family. Izaz has one boy and two girls. Jahangir has one boy and a girl while Mehraj has one son

delhi Updated: Aug 12, 2017 23:29 IST
Abhjinav Rajput
Abhjinav Rajput
Hindustan Times
sewer death,east delhi tragedy,delhi news
Family members of two brothers who died after inhaling toxic gases inside a sewer in east Delhi.

As Mohammad Yusuf, 50, battled for his life inside the ICU of Hedgawar Hospital on Saturday, his wife Kaisar Jahan waited outside. Jahan, 40, sat weeping near the ICU, even as her only son tried to console her.

The woman on Saturday had lost two of her three sons. She now fears losing her husband, Yusuf, who fell unconscious.

Two of Jahan’s sons were killed on Saturday after they inhaled toxic gases while trying to clean a clogged sewer in east Delhi. Her husband, who too had entered the sewer, fell unconscious but was pulled out and rushed to a hospital.

“My sons are killed. But what will happen to my grandchildren now. How will I feed them?,” she said.

Jahan’s family was involved in manual scavenging for the last 10 years. Her eldest son, Izaz, 24, and his younger brother Jahangir, 22, often helped out their father. The couple had a third son, Mehraj , 23, who works at a factory that manufactured purses.

“There are six children in the family. Izaz has one boy and two girls. Jahangir has one boy and a girl while Mehraj has one son. Now all the children will be dependent on Mehraj for their survival,” she said.

“Mehraj earns a meagre salary with which he is hardly able to feed his own family. How will he take care of his brother’s children. My husband will probably not be able to work in this field again,” she said.

The family, she said, doesn’t know how to break the news to the kids. “Don’t cry in front of the children. You should control yourself,” Mehraj is spotted telling her mother outside the ICU as Jahan bursts into tears.

Family and friends rued that the deceased could have survived if necessary precautions were taken.

Peeyush, a friend of Mehraj said. “The life of a poor man is very cheap. They were never given masks or other safety equipment.”

First Published: Aug 12, 2017 23:29 IST