Rs 50 lakh and counting: Help continues to pour in for Delhi sewer worker’s family
Monetary help continued to pour in for the family of the 37-year-old worker, who died in Delhi last week after the rope lowering him to clean a sewer snapped.
A photograph this reporter had tweeted on Monday of Anil’s son, Gaurav, 11, weeping next to his father’s body at a Delhi crematorium, had moved the Twitterati to raise the money for the family.
Anil’s neighbours had pitched in to buy wood for his cremation. His family did not have money for his last rites. Anil’s four-year-old son, Shivam, had died of pneumonia four days before his father’s death for the want of medicines.
As many as 2,422 good Samaritans had raised 51.43 lakh for the family via an online crowdfunding platform until Wednesday evening.
Anil’s widow, Rani, said she was glad that she could finally be able to send her three children to school now. “We had not paid rent for three months and thought we would be kicked out of our house after his (Anil)’s death. My husband was the only earning member. We will have a home now.”
Rani said the crowdfunding platform had provided them ration, a bicycle and other essential items that will see them through the next few months. “I have been told that people have given money for the children. I want to send my kids to a good private school,” she said on Wednesday.
Gaurav’s photo had gone viral on the social media with over seven thousand re-tweets, prompting NGO Uday Foundation to open bank accounts for the family to receive help.
The money raised has exceeded the NGO’s expectations. Uday Foundation founder Rahul Verma said their target was to raise Rs 24 lakh within a fortnight. He said the money would mostly be kept in fixed deposits in the names of the Anil children, Gaurav and his sisters, Lakshmi and Suman, aged seven and three.
Verma said some of the money would be given to the family for the education of the children and to meet their daily expenses.
Separately, the Delhi government has called a meeting on September 24 to review measures taken to stop manual scavenging in the city, officials aware of the development said.
Over the past two weeks, six men have died in two separate cases of manual scavenging.
An estimated 100 sewer workers die in India annually because of the lack of safety equipment.