One-time relief no solution: Survivors
Sitting on the pavement near Barakhamba Road, dazed and his legs severed, 35-year-old Shakeel Ahmed had become the face of the 2008 serial blasts that rocked Delhi.delhi Updated: Sep 09, 2011 01:43 IST
Sitting on the pavement near Barakhamba Road, dazed and his legs severed, 35-year-old Shakeel Ahmed had become the face of the 2008 serial blasts that rocked Delhi.
Ahmed was the only one to survive the blast at Barakhamba Road but he couldn’t survive the government’s apathy and Delhi’s high cost of living.
With his legs amputated after the blast, Ahmed, who worked as a driver, has moved with his wife and three children to his village near Itawah, UP."I got a compensation of Rs 50,000 and my medical expenses were taken care of but no one bothered about how I would run my family," he said. Unable to pay rent, Ahmed left Delhi.
“I got myself a small time job with a salary of Rs 3,000 that takes care of the meals but is not enough for educating my children and other expenses,” he said.
For Bhagwan Dass (63), who lost his son, daughter-in-law and grandson in the 2005 Sarojini Nagar market blast, providing for his grand daughter is an everyday fight.
“I got a compensation of Rs 7.5 lakh, which was put in a fixed deposit in my granddaughter’s name. How I’m supposed to meet the expenses for her education?”
Thankfully, the school where his granddaughter Manisha studies has waived off her tuition fees.
“There are, however, other daily expenses that I have to take care of. Unlike other children, she can’t take part in excursions and other celebrations because I can’t pay for them,” he said.
Ahmed also says that one-time compensation is not enough for those affected by such blasts.
“I have been crippled for life and after the initial hospital visits, none of the VIPs have bothered to check how I’m making ends meet,” he said.
Kuldeep Singh (39), who lost his vision in the 2005 blast in Govindpuri and cannot hear anything in his right ear, has spent more than what he received as compensation on his medical expenses. This, when his timely act saved the lives of 50 passengers of the DTC bus he was driving.
Though he was provided a permanent job by DTC and given an official accommodation, Singh is unable to have any semblance of a normal life.
His less than Rs 10,000 salary is insufficient to meet the expenditure of schooling his son Deepak (6), who was born a few months after the blast.
“We will be thrown out of the house once my husband is unable to even go to the office. Will the Rs 2 lakh be compensation enough for what he did?” said Nigam, his wife. “Even the bus, which was saved because he threw the bomb outside, was worth many lakhs,” she said.
First Published: Sep 09, 2011 00:15 IST