Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Urgent, urgent, urgent

I got this report this morning from Wordjunkie. Anyone who can help out, please contact us asap at please.

I'd written in earlier about Balaji, whose mother was killed at CST, while he sustained injuries. Managed to get through to him yesterday, and discovered that he needs immediate help. Also, the details I got from his cousin may have been incorrect. Balaji's got bullets or shrapnel injuries all over his body, and can't work. He needs to be admitted to hospital.
While the 5 lakh compensation for his mother has come in, he himself has received nothing. His dependents are:
1 Wife
2. Sister
3 Two brothers, not employed full time
He needs help with groceries for now, as well as medical expenses which might be over a longer term.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here's wishing all of you...

A New Year that is peaceful, joyous and fulfilling.

Report from Wordjunkie

A 65 year old lady, Mrs Sakubai Baburao Kharatmal was killed in CST on the night of the 26th. She was employed, selling fish for a living, but seems to have no dependents. Spoke to her nephew this morning (as his number is given as contact) and have managed to find out the following: She has three sons, but only one seems to be here in Mumbai. He was also wounded but seems to have received no compensation till date. (All compensation in her name has been received, however) The son, Balaji, is an auto driver, and back at work, but would like some assistance. I have his number, but it's been switched off since yesterday. Will follow up on this.

Warm clothes anyone?

The little winter Mumbai gets is on us.

Some little children could do with some warm clothes. If you would like to help out, drop us a mail on

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Report on the Ansari family at Tardeo

And here is a report from OrangeJammies and Serendipity on the Ansari family which lost six members:

We visited Mohd. Rahim Ansari on Thursday, December 25, 2008. (His contact information is at the end of this report.) He was not keen to have us visit his home, so we stood by the side of the street and had a 25-minute conversation. The family tree (provided as an attachment) took up most of our time, as he wanted us to have all the details right. Please review that first for a clearer understanding of the situation. Here are other bits of information from the meeting:

He mentioned upfront that he has already been approached by several television channels and they keep asking him to recount the details and it's getting harder for him to do so. He was not very positive about our ability to help but gave us a diffident go-ahead.

The Ansari family is from Nawada, Bihar, (near Patna) and on the night of 26/11, they were present at the CST to drop off one member of the family who was to leave by the 11.20 train to Patna.

6 members are dead, 2 were wounded but have since returned to their village.
Response from the government so far has included a total of Rs. 90,000 (15,000 x 6) received from the railways. Rs.60,000 (10,000 x 6) was spent on the funerals and the remaining Rs. 30,000 has been used to fulfil immediate needs of family members in the village. The cheques for Rs. 5 lakh per person have not made an appearance, despite Mohd. Rahim having applied for the same a month ago at booth # 3 at CST.

Mohd. Israil and Mohd. Rahim were the chief breadwinners who shared rented premises in Bombay and sent money back to the village. Israil has since gone back to Nawada and Mohd. Rahim says the onus of paying the missing brothers' share of the rent falls on him.

Mohd. Rahim holds a job that brings in Rs. 2000-3000 a month.
Immediate concerns include Mohd. Ismail's wife (and Sarfaraz and Murtuza's mother) who is now left with two young children to care for. Since she is in iddat (the muslim period of mourning), she cannot leave the home, let alone come to Mumbai to claim compensation. Also, Mohd. Ilyas' daughter is scheduled to get married in a month's time (Mohd. Rahim insisted she was over 18 years of age) and will need financial assistance to set up her new life as well as to meet wedding expenses. Mohd. Rahim said he would get the wife's account number for us so cheques could be sent directly to her. He would also provide a list of wedding-related articles needed, although it's hardly logistically sound to send over things from Mumbai and money would probably work better.

Repeated attempts to contact Mohd. Rahim for account details have been unsuccessful as of Monday, December 29, 2008. Another point of contact can be Shagir, Abbas and Rakila Ansari's son, who lives in Mumbra and whose number was provided by Mohd. Rahim on Thursday. It is: 9870575097. I will contact him tomorrow, i.e. December 30, 2008, and also try to reach Mohd. Rahim.

Mohd. Rahim said he would appreciate our help in obtaining the Rs. 5 lakh cheques. I have spoken with my brother-in-law who is a lawyer and has agreed to add Mohd. Rahim's case to the PIL a group of citizens is filing to obtain timely compensation from the govt. I will give him further information once I get through to Mohd. Rahim.

Update on the Narkars, Shoaib Sheikh's family

This from wordjunkie who has, along with kbpm, been following up on the Narkars at Powai:

As I'd mentioned in an earlier email, the Narkars do not want assistance with groceries this month, and have atleast one job offer starting in Jan. They will be sending me their CVs soon.

Talked to the brother of Shoaib Sheikh today (#2 on the list). Shoaib is survived by a young wife (22 yrs), two daughters (4 and 2) and a mother (50+), all of whom the brother is currently supporting. They have rcvd Rs 5 lakh which has been invested in various postal schemes. They have also been offered help from Kirit Somaiya, a couple of NGOs, and expects help from the Tata trust. They do not want any assistance with groceries as of now. However, they would be happy for us to just meet the widow and talk to her, and help the girls in any way we can over the long term.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Report from Govandi

And this report from Shyaam and Aparna

Dear All,

We had gone to Memoon Khatoon's house yesterday (wife of cab driver who died in the Vile Parle blast). We gave her the amount (Rs. 2500/-) and we also told her that we are ready to help her out if she is keen on attending talioring classes.But she told us that she is pregnant (2 months) and she will not be in a position to do any kind of work now and in the coming months. We told her that in case she feels that she will be able to do something she can let us know so that we may be able to make necessary arrangements.The issue is she will have to be supported for the coming months. She will be a mother of 4 children at the end of this year. Thankfully her eldest son's school fees for the year has been paid. We will need to figure out a solution for her other worries in life. She was also complaining about having constant chest pains for which she is taking medicines.
It looks like she will need support for another 2 years this seems to be a long term affair. I think we should may be try speaking to cooperates who might be willing to do so. Or any other suggestions?
We had also gone to Ganesh's house (son of Sitaram who died in CST firing) to collect the bio-data and he was thrilled to see us. He really expects us to get him a good job. We told him that he may get only a job such as delivery boy/office assitant now and he should while working also pursue his studies and finish his 12th so that he will be better qualified and will get a better job once he finishes his 12th. He also showed his certificates and gold medals which he earned for karate (he has earned black belt in sub-junior level).

Two issues here: Long term support from Memoona Khatoon.


A job for the boy.

If anyone can help out do email me at or just leave me a comment here with your email id and will get in touch with you.

Update on the Yadavs

This from M:
I spoke to Mr. Yadav on saturday. The brother in law has returned the compensation cheque to Sunita - he probably realized there's little he could do with a crossed cheque in someone elses name. But he still has the original death certificate.
Sunita and Sheetal's bank accounts should be up and running this week. Their village only has an SBI branch which was on holiday till today.
Will keep you guys posted on any further developments.

Report from Mahim

This comes from Sangeeta:

Dear All,
I vistied Mrs Husainbi Peerpasha Shaikh, wife of one of the waiter who worked at Leopold. Her husband was shot dead. She stays at Mahim with her mother in law and 5 children. Her bother in law Mr Chand works at Leopold has now shifted in and stays with them.
They have got the Rs 5 lakhs compensation. It's in the bank  but have not put that in an FD as yet . They need money to run the home and are looking at saving money for the elder daughter. She is in the 9th but by the 12th std the girls get married in their community.
The girls education is free but the boys education has to be paid as they go to an English school.
They need to pay Rs 450*6 =  2700 for the younger sons 6 monthly fee.
They used to pay Rs 2000 a month for tutions for all 5 children
They need 50 Kgs Rice and 20 kgs wheat - that lasts for a month and a week . This costs Rs 1500 p.m. and they buy this from the ration shop.
Right now what I can gather is that they cannot invest the Rs 5 lakhs as they need money to run the home too. And the want to save for the impending marriage of the daughter. She was learning mehndi application  but things are different now.
The way I see it they need running expenses of Rs 5000 a month . The wife has a bak account with SBI . Cheques can be made in the name of Husanbi Peerpasha Shaikh.

Edited to add: We are looking for kind souls who can help with the monthly expenses, the fees and the groceries.

Also we are looking at creating a corpus to be handed over to her. Details of that will be posted as soon as we thrash out logistics.

Please do drop a line at if you would like to help in anyway.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

A mail received...

I am Anurag Aggarwal from Khojguru Infotech Private Limited.

We have initiated a movement to donate Rs. 1 Lakh to the National Defense Fund, a fund for the welfare of the security personnel and their dependents on 26th January 2009. We want to contribute as a community and hence we are inviting people to join the movement. We want to contribute the money with 1 lakh names on the list.

In this endeavor I seek your help. You can help us reach more people by simply writing something about the movement or by adding the widget on <> on you blog.

Hope to get your support in bringing together as many concerned individuals as possible.

Trust to help in claims and compensation

Goregaon Nagrik Seva Pratisthan, a charitable trust, will be taking up cases like filing claims or getting compensations for terror victims and their families at no charge. Advocate Rajendra Parkar, the trusts legal cell chief, will be available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 7pm and 8.30 pm at Siddharth Nagar, BEST colony, next to Gajanan Maharaj Mandir, Goregaon (West).

Info courtesy HT.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

26/11 Compensation Criteria

(Courtesy The Times of India)
Those who want to claim compensation should be ready with the following documents:
Police Report/FIR
Death cum Post Mortem Certificate in the event of death
Medical certificate in the event of permanent incapacitation
Birth certificate of the claimant (if minor) and other documents for determining rightful beneficiary

The Procedure:
Based on hospital reports, the district committe would send recommendations to the joint secretary of MHA in New Delhi in the prescribed form with a copy to the Home department of the state government.
All the documents would have to be verified and certified by the district committee.
The cheque would be deposited in the FD account of the beneficiary with instructions to the bank that no premature withrawal may be allowed.
The kin of victims can inform bank account details to :
Y R Bhalerao, Deputy Collector, Old Customs House, Third Floor, Shaheed Bhagatsingh Marg, Fort, Mumbai 400001
For Deaths and injuries at CST one can file claims with the Railway Claims Tribunal.
For assistance former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya can be contacted at, or on 21634152. Somiaya is volunteering to give free medical aid to all victims and their kin. He will assist victims / kins in getting a job in the railways.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Report from Priyanka

Dear, dear Priyanka has today chipped in for the rent and groceries for the Govandi based taxi drivers family yet again. She had just sent in a months worth of groceries to the Waghela family at the start of this month.

Here's what she writes in on her conversation with Mishrilal Moryas brother in law:

I had a telephonic conversation with misrilal morya's brother-in-law (sister's husband).he told me that Mishrilal's family after his death has moved back to their village in UP. Mishrilal is survived by his wife Guddi Devi and three kids: a daughter (Ranjita) 7 years old,a son (Ritik) 3 years old and another daughter Amrita who is just 9 months old.
even Mishrilal's sister was shot at cst but after spending 2-3 days at jj is now recuperating at home.On asking him if there is anything we could do to help  he said the only help he'd appreciate is if we could help him with the paperwork to claim 5 lakh compensation that the government has announced for the victims so that Mishrilal's kids could continue their education as planned.
He has submitted the papers needed at Bandra but has not received the money yet.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

If you like the sun and the sea

Here is a way you could help out, and have yourself a day out too!
Here's what Orangejammies had to say:
Aquasail India, the company started by India's first gold medallist on international waters, has come up with an interesting way to help the families of the 14 Mumbai police officers who died in the line of duty during the 26/11 terror attack. All proceeds from cruise bookings this week go directly toward the said policemen's fund. I am unable to answer specific questions as I was a guest on this expedition and the info-mail I was to receive hasn't made an appearance, but you can contact them through their website or call one of their skippers– Abhishek– at 9969372914 and they'll be happy to help you.If you're interested, make a trip sooner rather than later, because this offer's on only for a week. And honestly, I can't think of a more enjoyable, relaxed way to reach out to my city.
And this is from their leaflet:
As the city of Mumbai starts trying to be normal again, Zia and I have been going over the events of last month again and again. We cannot help thinking about how fortunate we are to be safe with our family and friends. And with sadness for those more immediately impacted. The fact that terror attacked from the sea, and left its mark so starkly on the Taj which all of us admire each time we return from a lovely sail, makes it all so much closer to us.
Yes, our Mumbai harbour is quiet and activity monitored. We wonder if thing’s will go back to normal. Many of our sea lovers call and ask when will it be so. We sense with every conversation a feeling of helplessness, a questioning of what to do. As we wait at Aquasail for the harbour to ‘open’ up and for activities to resume we too wonder how to rise above and beyond this sense of disbelief and this feeling of deep vulnerability.
The team at Aquasail felt that we need to do something with boats and sailing to make a statement, to sail beyond, to tide us over this feeling of sadness. As we talked about this we thought about what to do involving all of you who share with us a love for Mumbai and its amazing spirit as well as a love for the sea and all that it means to us. Why not use our boats for people to come together in a way that would be positive, bring in energy and revive a sense of hope?
And from this came the idea of a Sail For Peace & Freedom From Fear. . To use our boats to raise funds, help those affected in a small way and demonstrate a spirit free from fear. So join us for a sail for Peace & Freedom from Fear in the Mumbai harbour. The fundraiser is on from 20th Dec to 26th Dec. Please donate generously for every sail as per your ability (minimum Rs. 1, 000 /-). Every single rupee thus collected will be used for relief to those impacted by the events of last month. The reciepients of this donation will be the widows and families of 14 very junior policemen who laid down their lives during the terror attacks. The money will be given to the Ashok Kumar Foundation who will ensure it reaches them.
As you sail in the harbour, you will see the physical scars of a city that was under siege but demonstrates a spirit that has the power to heal. In our own quiet way we hope this would be one very small and token step towards creating a positive wave of energy, of saluting Mumbai, of remembering and perhaps finding stronger ways of addressing the challenges before us. We hope to see each of you Sailing For Peace & Freedom From Fear and donating towards this cause.
Do join in this Sail For Peace and Contribute as generously as you can.
To register, call us at: +91-22 22046911/22 22043970/+91 9987681826
Or email at:
Warm Regards,
Shakeel Kudrolli & Zia Hajeebhoy
Trustees – Aquasail Youth Sailing Foundation.

Thanks OJ, for this one.

Report from the Asrani home

She was 26 years old. And she had gone to CST to meet a friend. A bright bubbly cheerful girl. Meetu Asrani. The Nomad and I visited her home yesterday in Kandivali's Charkop area. We were welcomed by her parents, stoic in the grief, more composed than we were. The family is relatively comfortable and does not need any financial support as we could surmise. All that we could help out with was the nitty gritties of following up on the claims which had been filed since the parents are too aged to do the running around. Meetu's brother works with a private company and has just resumed work.
We have taken down the details and will keep you posted on the progress.

Update on Sunita Yadav

Just received this from M:

We spoke to Mr. Yadav on Sunday. He, Sunita and Sheetal have reached their village in UP safely. We understand that Sunita had approached her in-laws asking whether she could live with them, but as we had already predicted to him, they want nothing to do with her or Sheetal and have turned them away. Sunita and Sheetal had to actually spend the night in the streets before they could return to Mr. Yadav's home. Before they left, we had told him that going to the in-laws wasn't a good idea but I guess they decided to try anyways. The brother in law who stole the death certificate and the compensation cheque is still MIA and no one knows where to find him.

Mr. Yadav confirmed that he is in the process of setting up bank accounts for Sunita and Sheetal and once we receive details of the bank accounts, we plan to transfer around 3 – 3.5 lakhs to them. They are going to return to Mumbai in early January to get the duplicate death certificate and to file the compensation claims. We have helped him get the necessary affidavits in place and now it's just a matter of pushing the file through the system. He is going to call us once he gets back into the city.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Report from Kandivali

This from the very earnest Nomad.

News from Kandivali :

* I talked to Janardhan Chitekar, he has lost his two children aged 7 and 10 - a boy and a girl. For the time being he has gone back to his village and has not filed any of the claims etc. He is coming back to Bombay in the next 3-4 days and will contact me when he does. Since the victims were children I do not think he will require financial help, what he will require is to be put in touch with the right people who will help him file his papers. Kiran, as we discussed, I told him that we will be able to help him or take him to Sanjay Nirupam's office.

* Also talked to Sunil Asrani and his father Mr. Arjun Asrani, who lost his 26 year old daughter. Arjun Asrani and his wife Kavita are retired and Sunil is working. From my converation with them I think they are financially ok and may not need help with that. However, the father said that he is grappling with some claims queries and with the son working he is finding it difficult to deal with this, he asked if we will be able to help with that. I will be meeting him either today or tommorow and will get the list of queries - we can then work to get the details and provide them. Will also access any other needs they may have at this time.

* My maid,  Nanda didi had told me that she lost a cousin who was shot at VT, he is survived by two young children, the wife (who is uneducated) and an old mother. They have also gone back to their village and are trying to figure out the best course to survival. I have told Nanda to get all possible details, contact number etc. and will take it from there.

I do hope to help the grieving families whatever way we can ... it just feels strange putting them as bullet point tasks.

Thanks Nomad, let's try to do what we can!

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From Govandi

And this report from Govandi, from team member Aparna and her friend Shyam. Thanks Aparna for the trek undertaken on your weekly off:

We visited two of the victims on Sunday morning.

Both the addresses allotted to me were in Govandi (2 stations before Vashi.)

First we made a visit to the house of Late Mohammad Umar Singh. He was taxi driver who was killed in the Vile Parle blast. Since Kiran had given me the exact address, I did not face any difficulty in finding the place. But there were comments galore in the street when I was asking the way to his house. "angrez aa gaye" the comment could have been because I wearing capris. We have decided that next time I'll go in salwar kameez only. We also heard comments such as, "5 lakh bag mein le kar aayi hai".

The house was inside a small gali with a dirty nala right in front. Its actually a room with an attached bathroom. The house does not have a door and is covered with a curtain. His wife and 2 of his children were there along with the wife's brother (who is taking care of the family presently). There was also a lady who has been brought from the village for help as the wife is not in a mental state of mind to do any work.

There are totally 4 members in the family. (Wife and 3 children.) The children are aged 6, 3 and 1.5. The eldest child is going to school. This lady is not qualified and therefor is not going for any work. She wants to educate her children. But most importantly she wants the government to allot a house in her name. They are currently staying in a rented place, (paying a rent of about Rs. 1500) The Government aid of Rs. 5 lakhs has reached them. And it has been put into a bank close by that and it is a co-operative bank. She is presently living on the money people give her when they visit her and the money received from Government.

To summarise, her immediate priorities are:

1. House in her name
2. Educate her children

The second family we visited also living in an area close by. Here the head of the family (Sitaram Malape) was shot down at the attack in CST. The family that consists of the deceased the wife and 2 sons aged 19 and 14 years respectively were on their way for a relatives marriage at Sholapur, when the firing happened. The elder son was also shot at in his hand. He still visits the government hospital for his dressing. They seemed relatively better off they had a house of their own. The kids were going to school. The elder son is in 12th but now he doesn't want to study ahead. He wants to start working he is expecting an income of about 7000-8000. We tried convincing him to try and finish is 12th but he was adamant on finding a job as soon as possible.

This family also has all its relatives starting close by and has been able to fend for themselves. The only concern seems to be to get this boy a job.

They had also received the compensation form the governmental and the railways.

The immediate priority for this family is getting the elder son a job.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

A forward I received...

An aged lady, who brought her son up singlehandedly from when he was a four month old infant, is now without anyone to support her. This tugged at my heartstrings. Please folk, do write in to this gentleman if you'd like to help her.

From: "Daniel Francis" <>Subject: Please help!

December 15,2008

Dear Ex Wilsonians,

I regret to inform, that in the recent terrorist attack we lost Harish Govil an ex wilsonian from the 2007 Batch.Harish was bright boy with innate extra curricural qualities. To his misfortune he lost his father when he was just 4 months old. His mother raised him with great difficulties and he supported her capitalising his skills in theatre and dance.

I did not know him personally, but when I visited his home and met his mother - I thought she needs our help! Friends, teachers and well wishers in the college have come up with a noble idea of raising a substantial corpus for his mother. We aim at raising atleast Rs.One Lakh and I request you to give generously to this cause.

I hope you respond compassionately to this request! Those who are interested can write to me for more details on the same.


Daniel Francis
BMM Batch 2005

Animal Angels

Thank you Nomad for this one, although I posted it a bit late given my inbox was overflowing, but I am sure it will be of help to those who need it.

A comforting hug from a dog is one way of letting out your pent up stress. This is called Animal Assisted Therapy. Animals are unconditional and their touch is soothing. Most of the time people in trauma or in a state of shock don't want to talk as they re experience the trauma. With animals you do not need to talk. Even if you hug the therapy dog, it provides you immense comfort and reassurance. It also helps in catharsis or venting out of emotions. A person may cry on hugging the dog as it releases the emotions locked up inside. Also the animal is non judgmental. An animal will not judge you for what you do or say, hence providing a very open environment to express oneself.
Please pass on this information to anyone who has been rescued from the Mumbai terror blast, family of survivors, or was a part of the rescue operation. Our NGO Animal Angels Foundation, comprising of counselors, therapists and trained Therapy Dogs are offering free counseling and visits by our therapy dogs for all the survivors, rescued/injured people.
You can contact me on 9987509102 and 9421004291.
You can visit our website
This is our way of lending out a helping hand/paw. Please give us a chance to help those how have made us live another day in Mumbai.
Mrs. Minal KavishwarPresidentAnimal Angels FoundationWebsite:

Please help this family....

So far I have always been asking you folks who wrote in with offers of financial help to hold on, till I identified the needy, got them to open bank accounts and then got in touch with you.

Well, this lady has opened her bank account now. She is the widow of Thakur Budhabhai Waghela, the GT Hospital sweeper who was gunned down while having his dinner in his home. She has three children and two aged inlaws to support. She will get a job on compassionate grounds no doubt, but it is a tough life ahead.

Do make your cheques out to:

Mrs Karuna Thakur Waghela
(Savings Bank Account No: SB11498, Corporation Bank, Mahanagar Palika Branch, Near Rang Bhavan)

You are welcome to do direct fund transfers. If you would like to send across a cheque or a DD, mail me at and I will give you the address to courier these cheques to us so we can ensure they are handed over to her personally.

Report on the family of Prakash Jainath Mandal, victim of the CST shootout

Here is the report on the visit by Team Indiahelps members Nihaas and Sayantani on their visit to the brother of the victim:

First off, let me introduce myself. I am Sayantani, a lawyer and Nihas' colleague.

Nihas and I have been trying to contact the people on the list given to Nihas in the meeting held at Brio. Out of the three people on the list, we have so far managed to contact Mr. Ashok Mandal, brother of Prakash Jainath Mandal, one of the victims of the shootout at CST. We tried calling the others, but couldn't get through to them. We will continue to try and get in touch with them.

We met Ashok Mandal yesterday in the afternoon and spoke to him. Their family is from a village called Sariya in Jharkhand. Prakash and Ashok were in Bombay, where they worked as daily wage labourers, while the rest of the family is in Jharkhand. On the fateful day, the brothers had procured some work at CST and were about to return when the shootout happened.

Prakash Mandal is survived by his wife Rathiya Devi and his 5 year old daughter, Shilpi. He was the oldest of three brothers and the principal bread earner of the family. Apart from his immediate family comprising of his wife and daughter, his aged mother, Ashok's newly married wife and their third brother, who is currently in his final year of B.A., were also dependent on Prakash, and now on Ashok, who is now the principal bread earner of the family.

Ashok told us that Prakash's wife is in a very bad emotional state and has just begun recovering. But he was more worried about Shilpi's wedding in the future, which he said, as per the custom in their village, would take place when Shilpi's around 15, i.e., 10 years from now.Typically, he said, a wedding would cost anywhere between 1.5 to 2.5 lakhs.

Ashok also told us that the two brothers together managed to send around Rs. 10,000 per month to the family back home. This was used to meet daily expenses, as well as the costs of the younger brother's education. Education for Shilpi, who goes to a private school, was also taken care of through this.

He said his main concern presently was finding enough work everyday to be able to take care of the family, and he would happily take on a job with an assured salary. He has completed his matriculation (10th standard equivalent) and would be happy to take on a job, if available, as a peon in an office. However, he wasn't keen on a job with a security agency as a watchman or similar. We gave him Rs. 2,000/- as he seemed to be in financial difficulty.

For the long term, i.e., for Shilpi's wedding, we could consider the option of having an account opened in Shilpi's name with her mother as guardian, where we could place some amount in a fixed deposit, which will partly take care of the expenses for her wedding. Shilpi, I guess, would still be a minor at the time of her wedding, so she wouldn't be the only person to be able to access the money, but i'm sure we can work around that.

Ashok has also received a letter from Sanjay Nirupam's office requesting him to contact him/ his office for compensation announced by the Maharashtra government. He hasn't yet followed up on that...we told him to call up and let us know how things worked out, and that we'd be glad to help in the process if he needed any help.

Will keep everybody posted on this.

As I see it, there are two primary issues to be handled:
  • A job for Ashok Mandal with a fixed income.
  • A corpus to be created for the little girl's education and future.
  • Ensuring that the girl gets an education and is not compelled to drop out.
Anyone who could help out with the job please do mail me at
As for the corpus, let us work out the logistics and then get back to you with requests to contribute generously....

Thanks Sayantani and Nihaas!

You folks must have been wondering what we had been upto...

After our last meeting where we had decided to visit homes and assess which families we felt needed help and hand holding, we took a pause to check if we could work with organisations doing work in this area. Well, folks, we checked that option out this Saturday and it is so not working out. So it was back to Plan A and we've got our first home visits done today.
Thanks Aparna, from the non blogging side of our team, and a brave girl who trekked all the way to Govandi on her weekly off to visit two families. She will file a detailed report tomorrow but here are her initial impressions:
Government relief cheques have reached both homes promptly.
A job needed for a 12th standard student.
A lady with three small children below six who needs a house. And a means of livelihood in the neighbourhood.
More details with Aparna's report tomorrow.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Do you know about the 1298 service?

The 1298 service is an emergency ambulance service run by a non profit trust. It has 21 cardiac ambulances all over Mumbai including Navi Mumbai.

Mumbai residents can dial 1298 from a landline or a mobile and a state of the art cardiac ambulance along with an emergency trained doctor will be at your doorstep for a nominal fee.

These ambulances are equipped with a portable ECG, external cardiac defibrillator, ventilator, pulse oximeter and IV fluids facility.

The 1298 facility can also be called during an emergency or a crisis situation. Their ambulances were used to ferry injured NSG commandos, victims and police personnel during 26/11.

(Info courtesy HT)

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Friday, December 19, 2008

The Oberoi Care Fund

The Oberoi Group has set up The Oberoi Care Fund which will accept contributions made by cheque, demand draft, credit card or an electronic fund transfer till March 2009. This fund is in partnership with Give India, a well known NGO. The fund is meant for the welfare of the families of the staffers who lost their lives during the 26/11 attack.

Check for details on Or call on 011-23890555 or email:

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Still havent been able to find this...

The address and the details of the family of the Akshardham martyr from Uttarakhand, Surjan Singh Bhandari.
Have received no revertal from the Army Wives Welfare Organisation to my mails asking them how folks could send in funds for the widows of the army martyrs in their lists, not only limited to the Mumbai 26/11 attack.
Anyone? Any leads?

Do you vote...

I do too. Regularly. I've voted for parties, for candidates I've felt were the best among a basket of evils. I've stood in snaking lines. I've punched the button. And honestly, when the indelible ink comes on my finger, I've shown in around with a smirk, looking down on the unfortunates who havent got theirs.
Which is why I have been listening to all this debate about whether to vote or not, or give blank votes which much interest.
All I have to say, is if you live in a country you are morally, ethically and emotionally responsible to sustain the democracy and freedom it offers you. The least you can do is vote for a candidate you feel is capable of representing you. If you dont like any of the candidates on offer, vote for the party you believe in. If you feel all the candidates and all the parties are crooks, get into politics yourself and try to make a difference instead of sitting on the fringe and bleating about it.
I have just shifted home last year, and suddenly realised I hadnt done my voter registration.
Here's what I heard is helpful. And yes. Do vote. It does make a difference.

From the website:
I realized how important it is to stop complaining but start voting to make a difference. And now, it's simpler than ever before!
Jaago re! One Billion Votes - a nationwide movement on voter registration - has made it possible to fill a voter registration form online and that too in just 5 minutes!Go to to learn more and register to vote right now..If you have already registered to vote, you can still register with Jaago re! One Billion Votes movement and get periodic confirmation of your voter status, and election related news and reminders. Believe it or not, even registered voters sometimes do not figure in voter lists!Go to for more information, and to learn about voting related rules and procedures.

Yes, we have located the family...

...of the taxi driver who was unfortunate enough to be the one who bore the bomb that blew up at Vile Parle. The family lives in Govandi. And is in dire straits, as can be surmised. The widow is not educated. She has three small boys to bring up, aged six, three and a year and a half old. Her husband would bring in a couple of hundreds in every day and within that they paid their rent and fed their children. There has been no income for the past month.
Anyone wishing to help out, please mail us at
As always, the lady has no account to her name, so we will be requesting her to open a bank account as soon as is possible. Whomever wishes to contribute groceries, or clothes for the children or cash, please do mail in.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Little children with big hearts

I was sent this link by Sujatha, and it touched me. Visit this site if you would like to see how an eight year old is trying, in her own way, to do something for the terror victims, though she is so far off geographically.
Thanks Sujatha and Chox, for the link.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thank you...

... Priyanka, from the non blogging side of the IndiaHelps team and a dear friend, dropped off a months worth of groceries at the Waghela home today. I am told the deceased's mother is still inconsolable.
The son, a six year old, witnessed the father being gunned down and is in acute shock. The kind that has him shivering and silent. Any kind counsellors who could work with this child please do get in touch with us.

Thanks Priyanka.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Free legal aid for terror victims kin

As reported in today's Hindustan Times:
Member secretary of the Maharashtra State Legal Services authorityhas appealed to the families of those killed in the terro attacks to approach any of their offices for assistance in obtaining legal heir certificates, compensation, medical treatment, insurance, workmen compensation, recovering moveable and immovable property. The Authority will also help them avail of the various beneficial schemes from the state and the Centre and also psycho-social counselling.

Those in need can contact: 22691358 or 22691395 at the Bombay High Court
26402175 or 26401240 at the Brihanmumbai district legal services authority, or 25476441 at the Thane district Legal services authority.

Where are these children....

A missing child is counting on us
Our efforts can help reunite a missing child with his parents.

You can make an impact in protecting India's most precious resources - our children and offer hope to families who know that the search will not end till their child is found. Without your help and support we will not be able to find the missing children. It is impossible for any one person, organization or government to search for the missing children on their own. All of us have to join together and help in the search for missing children. We really need your help in finding these
children, to put smiles back on their faces. Let us make a beginning and let us convey to the families of the missing children that never again this crisis will be endured alone. We care and it's our united efforts that will make the difference. No one suffering the misfortune of a missing child should ever feel and be left to cope alone.

A missing child is counting on us. Maybe you hold the key to reunite a missing child with his/her family. There are many ways in which you can help. One of the easiest one is by just keeping a watchful eye at the children you see. Your own powers of observation may be the greatest asset. Some of the most memorable and successful locations of missing persons have come through individuals who have recognized the face of a new neighbour.

Our aim is to disseminate as many pictures of the missing children as possible. More are the pictures distributed; more are the chances of finding these children.

Community involvement is vital for the ultimate success. Please invite your friends/colleagues to become a part of this meaningful and fast growing community. We are already 2,45,000 plus. A sample invitation letter can be found at .

National Centre For Missing Children (Regn. No. 734 dated 19/3/2001)
(A national level, non-religious, non-political, non-profit making,
non-governmental organization)
502 Chetak Centre, 12/2 RNT Marg, Indore-452001 (MP) India. Ph: (91 731) 2519279

Website :

Some pencils, some books...

I watch them every morning, when I go to drop my son to school everyday. With a street school banner hung up behind them, sitting with a band of raggedy children in front of them. A few alphabet charts rolled out in front of them. The adults from the slums from where these children come, stand around, watching intently.

Sometimes ways to help are staring at one right in the face and one doesn't recognise it. And we go running like headless chickens to find things and people one can be of help to.

I'm going to ask them what they need tomorrow. As I see it, slates, chalks, hindi script charts and basic books, books, pencils, erasers, sharpeners and a mat seems to be the first step.

Do you have a street school around your neighbourhood you could help out with basic stationery?

I see these street schools at many pavements across the suburbs in Mumbai at around eight am.

Look around. It won't cost you much.

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Is there anyone around Govandi...

...who would like to help out this family, that of the taxi driver whose taxi was blown up.
Rent, groceries, clothes for the children. In any way you can. I am trying to locate an address. Will post that once I get it...but a prudent way to find out would be to ask the local taxi drivers in Govandi itself. They should be able to help.

Thanks SM for the link.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Camp in Chennai to provide artificial limbs

A camp is to be held in Chennai from Dec 15-19th, to provide artificial limbs, crutches and calipers to the needy, FREE of cost.

It is famously known as the "Jaipur Foot". The limbs, crutches and calipers are provided by an organisation called BMVSS. This is sponsored by one of our global vendors DOW CHEMICALS.

The camp was successfully held in Bombay and Pune with over 1000 people benefiting in a course of 5 days. Till date, over a million people have benefited. The organisation has been recognised by the UN and has been running successfully for over 30 years. Please refer to <> for more details.

What can u do?
o Please find attached the pamphlet for the camp with this mail, which is in English as well as in Tamil. Request you to forward it to your friends.
o If you personally know of someone who could benefit from the camp, please inform them to visit the camp. The Jaipur foot is provided free to everyone irrespective of gender, religion, location, age or financial status.
o If you can make a copy of the poster and put it up in your apartment, that would also be very helpful.
o NOT LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS. Though we know that many of you might want to come and help out, it is strictly not open for volunteers. Your support can be by helping to spread the word.
This is your chance to help someone get a new life.

Thank you so much!!

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Here's where you can help

The Taj Group, which saw a major part of terrorist carnage on its premises, has set up The Taj Public Service Welfare Trust to provide, and I quote "immediate relief to individuals and families affected by the recent terror attacks in Mumbai, the general public, police and security forces, employees of the Taj and other establishments.
The trust will henceforth come to the aid of victims of terror, natural calamities and other tragic events that inflict damage to life and property. "

And I trust Mr Ratan Tata.

Contact them at The Taj Public Service Welfare Trust, Mandlik House, 2nd floor, Mandlik rd, Colaba, Mumbai 400001. Tel: 91 22 66395515, email:

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

An update on the Arun Chitte fund...

from M and her group of pals, and also their laudable efforts to help Sunita Yadav, mentioned in an earlier posts.

Thank you for your generous contributions. We have now managed to collect over Rs. 4 lakhs and are receiving more contributions next week.

An update in terms of utilisation:

1. We are coordinating our relief effort directly with Mrs. A.N. Roy (wife of Mr. A.N. Roy, Director General of Police, Maharashtra) and her daughter, Richa Roy. Mrs. Roy is working with victims in various hospitals and is putting us in touch with families that need financial assistance.

2. We understand from Mrs. Roy that the Police Department is providing a compensation of Rs. 25 lakhs to families of members of the police force who passed away during the attacks and that Mr. Arun Chitte (Inspector Salaskar’s driver who was killed during the attacks) is likely to receive this compensation. We are working with Mr. A.N. Roy’s office to find out whether Mr. Arun Chitte’s family is receiving this contribution. If they are, we will not be contributing to this family as initially planned and will instead utilise the funds that we have collected to help other needy families.

3. We visited the J.J. Hospital today to meet with Mrs. Sunita Yadav and Sheetal Yadav. We obtained information about them through a social worker whom we are coordinating with to identify needy victims as well as Mrs. Roy.

4. Sunita Yadav (who is around 23 years old) lost her husband during the attack at CST. She and Sheetal Yadav (her baby daughter who is 4 months old) have suffered bullet injuries and are still in hospital. The family has no money for immediate expenses, including food, medicine and clothes. While the Government has issued her a compensation cheque of Rs. 50,000, her brother-in-law has absconded with the cheque as well as Sunita's husband's death certificate (without which she cannot file a fresh compensation claim).

5. We have given Sunita Yadav Rs. 15,000 in cash today for immediate expenses and will be contributing around Rs. 2 lakhs or more to her once she establishes a bank account after her discharge from hospital (expected tomorrow). We are also buying a few sets of clothes for her and the baby since they have no clothes except those that they are wearing (which have been donated by the hospital).

6. We are also assisting Sunita with obtaining a duplicate of, and registering, her deceased husband’s death certificate and filing compensation claims with his employer (for release of pension etc.), the railways (who we understand have promised compensation) and the state government. Mrs. Roy is helping Sunita find employment and we will be working with her on this to the extent possible.

We will keep you posted on utilisation of the funds. Thank you for your support

And so we met...

...This morning, from scattered parts of Mumbai, Cuffe Parade to Kandivali, to Kopar Khairane, to Bandra to Andheri to Powai. All brought together by nothing but their desire to help. Ideas flowed and were discussed, opinions voiced and faces put to names and blog ids. Yes, bloggers and non bloggers met up today. Sat down with victim lists. Worked out a plan to reach out. And gave ourselves a couple of weeks.

We are starting with the bereaved families and the victims of the Mumbai carnage. We hope we can help. Longterm. Not just handing over cash and moving on but handholding families through this painful transitional phase till they're back on their feet. Helping with education, training, jobs and whatever rehabilitation we can offer. We have no resources but our desire to help out.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be visiting individual homes and bringing you the stories. First hand. And yes, we are going to try our damnedest to make a difference.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

More opportunities to be of help....
All cheques to be handed over to be made out to the mother, Sunita Yadav, in her name, at the JJ Hospital Pediatric ward. Clothes and baby items for the child would also be appreciated. Blankets, diapers,, woollens, etc.
Any kind soul who can help with the eye treatment of this braveheart could get in touch, and we will try to put them in direct contact with the NSG commando, A K Singh

Thanks to for these links.

How to handle an injured person till medical help arrives

Imagine you had eye-witnessed an accident, or you were the first one who arrived at an accident scene, and you saw an injured person lying on the ground. What would be your instinctive response?Out of good will, many people would tend to move the injured person to a safer place or into a more comfortable position. However, this might cause even more serious injury to the person.
A prominent example is when the injured person is suffering bone fracture. If proper procedures are not followed, moving the victim may cause further dislocation of the fractured bones, which may in turn result in serious harms such as puncturing major blood vessels, perforation of the skin by the bone fragments etc. The consequence may be even more dreadful if the injured person is suffering from spinal injury in which the spinal cord of the victim may be affected by the move.There have been incidents in which the victims had been moved before medical personnel arrived. Fortunately, no serious damage was done.
This article provides important basic guidance for physically handling injured persons.
How could one know an injured person is suffering from fractured bones?
Bone fracture is likely to occur in certain circumstances, such as:
Direct Impact: A bone may break at a point where a heavy blow is received. For example, in a traffic accident, the shinbone (tibia) of the person may be broken by the impact of a moving vehicle's bumper. When fell from height, a person would very likely have suffered from fractured bones.
Indirect force: Force may also travel from the point of impact through the body to fracture bones elsewhere. Indirect force may also be produced by a twist or wrench, for instance, the bones of the forearms or the wrists may break by the sudden impact when a person is trying to support the body weight with hands when falling down. Sometimes, violent muscle contraction could fracture the bone to which the muscle is attached.
There are some obvious signs indicating bone fractures such as :
-Shortening, bending, or twisting of the limb.
-Difficulty in moving a limb normally, or at all.
-Tenderness over a bone if gently touched; pain at or near the site of injury , made worse by movement; severe or "sickening pain", which often indicates dislocation.
-Swelling and bruising, which may develop at the fracture site.
What about spinal injury? Extreme care must be taken when handling spinal injury .Not only is the spine crucial to the skeletal support of our body, it is closely associated with the spinal cord which provides neural connections from our brain to all parts of our body. If a person suffering from spinal fracture is moved without proper precaution, the spinal cord may be damaged with severe consequences. The spinal cord is very delicate, and if damaged, may result in loss of power or sensation in the parts of the body below the injured area.There are some clues in recognizing spinal injury , such as:
-Pain in the neck or back at the level of injury.
-Deformation of the normal curve of the spine.
-When the spinal cord has also been damaged, there may be loss of control over limbs, and/or abnormal sensations by the victim, such as burning or tingling.
-The injured person may complain about limbs feeling "stiff", "heavy", or "clumsy", or may feel difficulty with breathing.One should rely on trained first-aiders or medical personnel to assess the condition of the injured person and take necessary actions.

(Article reproduced from

This is what you can do today...

Information courtesy The Times of India
Thirteen year old Afroze Ansari, currently recuperating from a bullet wound to his back, at the JJ Hospital has lost six members of his family including his parents in the CST firing. He has six siblings. While Shaina NC's I Love Mumbai trust is taking care of his primary needs, his eldest brother Saghir Ansari is worried about how he will fund the education and upbringing for all the children.
If you would like to help the family, you can call Saghir Ansari at 9870575097.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Will you join the human chain in Mumbai tomorrow?

Mumbai for Peace is organising a 100 km long human chain tomorrow at 12 noon. The chain will start from the Taj, go to the Trident past Nariman House then through CST, Cama, Dadar TT and Dharavi. At Raheja Hospital it will join the other human chain starting from Churchgate through Opera House through Worli Naka through St Michaels Church. This will go through SV road till Dahisar.
As usual I won't be there. But do write in and tell us about your experiences if you do go.
For more information log on

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Think about this....

This is what the Mad Momma had to write a couple of days ago, and a knife twisted in my stomach.
But 4,500 homes in Kandhamal have been destroyed. FOURTEEN THOUSAND people are living in government relief camps and jungles - STILL too scared to even return home let alone return to business. Villages are ransacked. Homes burned to the ground. Priests killed and even a nun raped and paraded naked down the streets. A woman hacked into pieces and thrown into the forest. No one is sending them food, blankets or medicines. Bombay hospitals are overflowing with goodwill. Do send some this way for these poor people who need it too.
After the Bombay attacks we were filled with sympathy and outrage. The nation cursed politicians. Heads rolled. The security and intelligence agencies were questioned for not acting fast enough. In Orissa the violence lingers on. More violence is threatened. Nobody cares. No politician is sacked. No resignations demanded. No security measures put in place - even while
our metro airports beef up security. In Kandhamal you have to sign a document renouncing your faith and undergo a purification rite if you wish to go home.

Yes, what are we doing about Orissa? Nothing. Mumbai has grabbed all our attention and kept it. People are dying. Being killed in a religious pogrom perpetuated by the majority over the minority. And these are not terrorists trained in Pakistan either.
Go here to help. And how do we fight the enemy within?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

For the Akshardham martyr

I received this from a reader today:

Today, I saw a news about one of the commando who laid down his life during the Akshardham temple attack back in 2001-2 and how our bureaucratic processes still continue to be far beyond pathetic. Read this news article to find out yourself: and check out the video too in the link. I want to find out if there is any way in which I can reach this family and donate some amount to them so that they do not lose faith in India and humanity. Please let me know if you can find anything to help me help them.

Would anyone have any contact with the NSG for information on this commando's family? Please do write in.

Please help Bhanu Narkar's family

Bhanu Narkar, about whom I've written before, has left behind a wife, a daughter and two sons. While one son should get a job on compassionate grounds, the other is SSC pass and needs a job.

Anyone wanting to send in cheques please do mail me at I will reply with Mrs Narkar's name and account number details and the address to which the cheques can be mailed to.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

For Arun Chitte's Family

Fellow blogger M, and her friends have got together to set up a trust fund to donate a substantial amount to the widow of Arun Chitte (Vijay Salaskar's driver who was gunned down by the terrorists) and his family. If you recall, I had posted up the results of their efforts in finding out further information about each family on the blog a while ago.
This is what I received from her recently:
We are planning on contributing significantly to the Chitte family. We have collected Rs. 2.5 lakhs till now and more is coming in. Chitte’s wife is coming to Mumbai tomorrow and we plan to speak to her in person and figure out how she would like the money to be given to her.
For logistical convenience, we are depositing this money in a trust account created by Amarchand. Further contributions can therefore be made through electronic transfers / cheques if preferred. All cheques should be addressed to Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co. and we request that the account number (000004257170028) be written on the back of the cheque so that the money can be deposited efficiently.

All persons interested in contributing by cheque, please do mail in your request and I will forward you the contact details for the same.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

From the homes of the bereaved

...This from the Hindustan Times

With you, For you, Always
Prakash More, Police Sub-Inspector
Shot at Cama Hospital
‘He didn’t even have a bulletproof jacket’
It’s not hard to find out where Police Sub-Inspector Prakash More used to live.
A giant hoarding with a condolence message has been erected just outside Deen Dayal Nagar, a tribute to a man who served the force for 28 years and lost his life to eight bullets fired by terrorists on November 26.
His widow Madhvi, like most policemen’s wives, is unhappy with what More had to go through on the force. He was harassed and pressurised, she said, adding: “He never got a holiday or leave. We never had a proper family life.” The last holiday the family took was in May, to her village in Mahad. But More could be with him for just a few hours as he had to attend a training session in Nashik.
Madhvi is adamant on not allowing her son or daughter to join the force. “I will never support such a decision,” she said.She lamented that her husband, like the entire force, was ill-equipped to deal with terror attacks. “All he had was a small handgun. How could he fight those terrorists? He didn’t even have a bulletproof jacket.”
Arun Chitte, Vijay Salaskar’s driver
Shot at Metro junction
‘There is nobody to take care of the family’
Few know encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar didn’t die alone when he took on the terrorists. Salaskar’s driver Arun Chitte (37) was with him, refusing to abandon his boss of many years.
A bullet in the chest snatched away the patriarch of the family — that included his wife Manisha (28), and three daughters, Komal (10), Snehal (9) and Khushi (4) — that resides at the Dharavi police quarters.
The family has gone to their native village, Veergaon, for the funeral rituals. “We miss Chitte’s quiet presence. As he was away the entire day on work, we met him only at night,” said Raju Ghadi, another neighbour. “He was a family man. On Sundays, he would love to spend time with his daughters.”
Over the phone, Chitte’s elder brother Pandari Nath explained how he went to collect the body and brought back the family to their village. “He was cremated with a gun salute and the Mumbai and Nashik police were present,” he said with a hint of pride in his quivering voice.
Baburao Mane, chairman of Chhatrapati Shivaji Vidyalaya, where Chitte’s daughters study, has said he will take care of the girls’ education. “I have decided to waive the fees for his daughters. The family need not worry about that.”
MC Chaudhary, RPF Inspector
Shot dead at CST
‘His life was spent nurturing his family’One bullet was all it took to shatter a humble dream. Six years away from retirement, Railway Protection Force (RPF) Inspector M.C. Chaudhary was content with the marathon struggle of bringing up his family comprising parents, seven brothers and three sisters.
The bullet, amongst the several rounds fired indiscriminately on November 26 hit his left arm, pierced his chest and ended the journey before he could see his children settle down.
The 55-year-old, who died in the firing at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), has a daughter of marriageable age and a schoolgoing son.
“His entire life was spent nurturing the family. Now his brothers have grown up, but he is not alive to reap the fruits of his hard work,” said Snehalata, his wife.
Born in a lower-middle-class household in Khandesh near Bhusalwal, the eldest son had little freedom to chase his own dreams.
“For the 26 years we were married, his daily schedule comprised 10 to 12 hours of work and three hours of commuting between Ambernath and CST,” said Snehalata in their single-room flat — her only possession.
Vijay Khandekar, Police Constable Shot at Cama Hospital‘We didn’t think anyone would harm cops’Constable Vijay Khandekar is survived by wife Shraddha (32), daughter Samrudhi (4) and mother Nirmala — all too stunned to speak. “We didn’t know how serious the situation was. We didn’t think that anyone would harm policemen,” said brother Ashok (41).
The family was informed of Khandekar’s death the morning after the attack. In a trance, Ashok went to GT Hospital to claim the body and sent his wife Akshata to his brother’s home to break the news. The family knew what had happened when it saw Akshata in tears.
Khandekar was very close to his mother and dedicated to his family. “He would ask Nirmala for advice on everything — even on shoes. He had no vices and his record was flawless,” said Ashok. Khandekar was on leave when he got news of the attacks.
He rushed to Cama Hospital and is believed to be the only constable from the Azad Maidan police station actively involved in the incident.
Shashank Shinde, Senior Inspector, RPFShot at CST‘I feel a huge burden on my shoulders’Shashank Shinde (46) was one of the first officers to be shot at by the terrorists at CST. He rushed out of his office as soon as he heard the first shots. He returned fire, but his service revolver was no match for the terrorists’ assault rifles.
“Shinde’s (action made an impact). The terrorists were forced to flee CST. But before that, they attacked him from behind. He was hit by four bullets, died within minutes,” said Uttam, his brother. Shinde is survived by his wife Manasi and two daughters aged 18 and 14. “My brother always gave his duty top priority. He would hardly meet us on days when he was on duty, but he was always there at family gatherings,” said Smita Bhonsale, Shinde’s elder sister.
Baburao Dhurgude, Police Sub-Inspector Shot at Cama Hospital‘He only wanted to see us succeed’We just thought there was some rioting. Nothing more,” said Dhurgude’s 18-year-old son Vishal. Dhurgude had been watching the match with his son when his cellphone rang and he left in a hurry. “There’s no cable at home, so we had no access to the news. Our father had it removed so we could concentrate on our studies,” said 21-year-old Poonam.
It was only when the newspapers arrived the next morning that the Dhurgude family realised the magnitude of what had been happening. “My mother told me to call my father to make sure he was okay. I couldn’t get through, so I called his friend. We thought he was just injured. But when I got to the hospital, I was asked to identify his body,” said Vishal.
Working with the Anti-Terrorism Squad, Dhurgude’s job was fraught with danger, but he never took his work home. “He never talked about work. He was simple — enjoyed cricket and old movies,” said Neelam, a second-year student.
Ambadas Pawar, Constable Shot at CST‘It took 2 hours to find his body’Ambadas Pawar (29) would have been home in Kawte village in Satara by December 1 for his brother Sunil’s wedding. Instead, two bullets from terrorists ended his life.
Shivam Salukhe, his roommate and friend, was the first to learn of his death when he called Pawar on his mobile phone.
Someone at St George’s Hospital answered to tell him about the fatal shootout. “It took us two hours to find Pawar amid the mounting bodies,” recalled Salukhe.
In the one-room dwelling Pawar shared with three friends, a bundle of blue polythene lies in a corner. “These are the saris Pawar had bought to take home for the wedding,: said Rahul Dewde, another roommate.
(Lina Choudhury-Mahajan, Soubhik Mitra, Joydeepa Sarma, Hussain Khanbhai, Riddhi Shah, Mauli Buch, Mini Pant Zachariah)
© Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times

The Indian Army Man

Got this as a forward and it brought tears to my eyes. I am sure it will touch you too.

—this was written by an ex fighter pilot from the Indian Air force

Half Man Half Boy
The average age of the army man is 23 years.
He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer in the capital of his country, but old enough to die for his country.
He's a recent school or college graduate; he was probably an average student from one of the Kendriya Vidyalayas, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a rickety bicycle, and had a girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip -hop or bhangra or gazals and a 155mm howitzer.
He is 5 or 7 kilos lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting the insurgents or standing guard on the icy Himalayas from before dawn to well after dusk or he is at Mumbai engaging the terrorists. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.
He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.
He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march.
He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. His pride and self-respect, he does not lack.
He is self-sufficient.
He has two sets of combat dress: he washes one and wears the other.
He keeps his water bottle full and his feet dry.
He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own wounds.
If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.
He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.
He can save your life - or take it, because he's been trained for both.
He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.
He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.
He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed to do so.
He feels every note of the Jana Gana Mana vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hands from their pockets, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful. Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom.
Beardless or not, he is not a boy.
He is your nation's Fighting Man that has kept this country free and defended your right to Freedom. He has experienced deprivation and adversity, and has seen his buddies falling to bullets and maimed and blown.
And he smiles at the irony of the IAS babu and politician reducing his status year after year and the unkindest cut of all, even reducing his salary and asking why he should get 24 eggs a week free! And when he silently whispers in protest, the same politician and babu aghast, suggest he's mutinying!
Wake up citizens of India! Let's begin discriminating between the saviours of India and the traitors!
- Flt. Lt. Rajiv Tyagi

Edited to add: Chandni tells me this piece was originally written by a US army man, and has been edited and modified for the Indian context by Mr Tyagi. My apologies. But the sentiment, I am sure, remains the same.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Blood donor database

Some good samaritans are creating a database of blood donors in the city for use in emergencies.

At the moment the city hospitals have sufficient blood and do not require more immediately.

If you are willing to donate blood in emergencies email your name, contact details, as well as blood group to

Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

An effort from some folks at IIMA

This is what I received as a forward from the very committed kbpm. Remember the Omble I wrote about a few posts ago, asking folks for further information on? Well, he is Tukaram Umbale, and here are some folks from IIMA trying to help out in a definite way. Do feel free to contact them directly, all details are given below:

Over the past 3 days, even as Mumbai witnessed insane acts of terror and carnage, we saw a few courageous men from the Mumbai Police force, the NSG and the Navy commando division treading fire and death for the sake of the nation. Now, the situation is in control but we cannot forget the sacrifice of the men who laid down their lives to protect us. A group of us – safe today, thanks to these heroes in uniform - has decided to put together a small but meaningful fund for the family of at least one slain policeman.
Among the gallant men who were martyred in our cause was Sub-Inspector Tukaram Umbale, attached to the DB Marg Police Station, Lamington Road, South Mumbai. Sub Inspector Umbale and his colleague intercepted a getaway car at Girgaum, Chowpatty, manned by 2 terrorists. They succeeded in gunning down one of the 2, and capturing the second one alive – but not before Sub Inspector Umbale was shot dead.
Sub-Inspector Umbale, we learnt, when we visited the DB Marg Police Station, is survived by his widow and 3 daughters. We will get more details on the family when we visit a Senior Police Officer on the 1st of December, and plan to visit the family when they get back from the funeral.
We, who are Mumbai based, will be putting together a fund of Twenty Lakh Rupees (INR 20,00,000) that will be directly handed over to Sub-Inspector Umbale’s wife, without passing through any organisations or relief funds on the way. We request you to contribute to this effort by joining several others who have already committed to contribute to this fund.
You have a choice of contributing INR 1000, INR 5000, INR 10000, INR 25000 or more, to this fund.
Key details of the fund, how to contribute, responses to some questions we were asked, use of proceeds, and contact details of organisers/coordinators are in the attached document.
The email address for all communication on this is .

Document Version 1.0 dated 30th November 2008
- Amount of money targeted: INR 20,00,000 (Twenty lakh rupees)
- Details of persons organising the collection and handover of the funds
o Contact details:, Tel. +91 9967872453
 Kritika Srinivasan & Prakash Chellam
 Chetana & Srikanth Velamakanni
- The above people are responsible for ensuring that the funds reach the family, as well as for the administration of the collection drive such as email/phone follow-up etc. They will be supported by co-ordinators in Europe, UK, US and specific cities in India.
- Use of proceeds
o An account will be set up to collect all the funds, from which a cheque will be issued in the name of the wife of the Sub-Inspector, or she will be directly given control of the account. Details such as need for creation of an account in the wife’s name are to be ironed out once we establish contact with the family.
o Optionally, we will see if we can create a 10 year fixed deposit for the aggregate amount raised with annual interest payments
o We will not be getting into creation of a long term trust/similar entity
- Collection of funds
o Mode of donation: cash/cheques/demand drafts/online transfers, based on your convenience, all to your coordinator.
 Coordinators will then aggregate the amount, convert the currency where applicable, and send it to the organisers in Mumbai.
 For those donating by cheque/demand drafts our preference will be to
collect cheques directly in the name of the wife. However, this is subject
to our ability to create a bank account for the wife in the next 2 weeks.
We will keep you informed constantly of progress on this.
- How will the money reach the family?
o The organisers in India have undertaken to ensure that the money gathered is handed over to the family; we will keep detailed accounts of the money received, with a list of the donors. This will be made available to all the donors.
o We will not be able to send a receipt, but will endeavour to obtain at least a bank deposit confirmation copy as proof. However, essentially this contribution drive requires your trust in the integrity of the c0ordinator/organiser – we urge you to contribute only if you have confidence in them.
- What if we collect in excess of the amount targeted?
o We will retain the excess amount raised and transfer the entire amount to the family. However, if the amount exceeds the target by more than 50%, we will revert to the donors, and with their consent, identify a second slain policeman’s family to donate the money to.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Contact number for Waghela family

The contact person is the deceased's brother, Bharat B Waghela and his numbers are 9820727198
res: 22914315.
Anyone who would like to offer assistance is welcome to call them directly and enquire as to their requirements.

Those who want to help out...

This is what a concerned blogger M, and her friends found out. Thank you M for your efforts:

Particulars of the Victims of Terror Attack
Bhanu Narkar – Bread Earner
Contact : Arvind – 9324369271
(Spoke to this family. Both sons are finding jobs).
Watchman at Hospital
Arvind – 19 years;
Pravin – 24 years
Younger sister
Arun Chitte – Bread Earner
Contact : Sahebrao (his younger brother) – 9860575055
Driver to Vijay Salaskar
Three daughters aged 3, 6 and 8, respectively.
His wife returned to native place (a small village) in Nashik as they were staying in police quarters.
* This family will suffer the most lot as :
(i) they stay in village where there is hardly any income source except agriculture; and
(ii) she has to take care of her three daughters. Raising, educating and marriage.
Thakur Budhabhai Waghela – Bread Earner (30 yrs of age)
Could not get his residence number. However, spoke to Azad Maidan Police Station (jurisdictional police station). They informed he has father and mother and children.
Spoke to GT hospital also. Nobody has his residence number.
Sweeper at GT Hospital
i. Wife
ii. Father
iii. Mother
iv. Children

Edited to add: Waghela's address and details as per this post. He has no residence number. His home is a shanty. Anyone wanting to help will have to make a personal visit.

We had visited their home on Monday, and offered financial help. But more is always welcome. Anyone wanting to do so, please do go ahead.

Also, if anyone is around GT Hospital and can source the home address of the wardboy killed, Bhagan Gangaram Shinde, a ward boy of the G.T. hospital, and just mail it to me, I would be highly obliged. I am still trying to source details of Omle. A good samaritan who lives abroad is keen on helping out the family. Anyone with contacts in the police department who could help out, please? And we really owe this man all the clinching evidence we got out of the sole terrorist captured alive. He paid with his life.

Thank you dear friends. I am totally overwhelmed by the mails that have poured in.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Alone and injured

Just read in the TOI today about Rajiyawant Napit, 54, RPF Asst Sub inspector lying injured in Railway Hospital, Byculla missing his family who is in Madhya Pradesh. Just a thought that perhaps a good samaritan could sponsor and organise for his family to visit him for a couple of days to cheer him?

And my heart went out to 41 year old Razia Begum from Wardha whose husband, a cancer patient, was in town for a check up at Tata Memorial, and who can't locate her husband. Did he survive the attack?

Any good Samaritans want to help her?

One more family...

One of the watchmen shot dead by the terrorist, Pravin Bhanu Narkar, of the Cama Hospital.
His family lives at Powai, and kbpm was kind enough to visit them yesterday.
They would appreciate groceries and cash help till they get their dues in.
Also, as I had written on the blog earlier, his eldest son is 24 and jobless. Any jobs would be welcome.
Anyone who would like to visit them to offer help or a job, do mail me at and I will pass on the address.

Be there...

Candle light vigils, rallies and now a human chain.
I wont be there. As usual.
But I do suggest you should if you can. Demonstrations may not serve any definite purpose except draw attention to public anger and for that very reason they are valid.
Friday, Dec 12, between 12 and 12.15, stand where you are and form a human chain across the city wearing white. Mourn our lost ones. For fifteen minutes.
Call Dolphy DSouza for details on 9820226227.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What was the experience like at the Gateway yesterday?

Do write in and let us know.

Can anyone find out more about...

...ASI (Assistant Sub Inspector) Omle?

Apparently, but I dont really have confirmed reports, "he was the reason why we were able to catch Kasab alive. Chased the Skoda on his 2 wheeler and was the first to open the Skoda and to hold on Kasab's AK 47 when he riddled bullets into his stomach & intestine, held it tight till his last breath so he couldn't shoot anyone and his colleagues were able to kill ismail and nab this one." So writes in someone who has read about it and wants to help his family?

Can anyone help us track this family down? I've been trying to find this name in the list of casualties and havent been able to or have I missed it?

Report from a blogger

A co-mommy blogger and a wonderful person, kbpm visited the JJ Hospital yesterday to enquire what they really need, and this, is her mail on what she found out:

Here is my low down from my yesterday's outing:
First of all phone numbers:

JJ Control Room 23701366
JJ Help Line 23735555 (though Irang this number about 100 times yesterday and no one picked up).
Control room has one guy manning it. And a social worker hanging around. My sense is that calling is not particularly useful, its a govt. set up and while they are doing good stuff and all, everything is a bit 1980s there. Showing up ourselves is the best bet.
I took some dental care stuff and soaps. Brands that I would use. I picked up a few smaller brushes for children (but apparently as part of this attack there are only 3 children admitted at JJ). I had biscuits which they sent back saying they have plenty of it. There were crates and crates of mosambis and apples that people had sent. They said they have enough of perishable food. Did not talk about other things like juice etc. personally (Saw on your blog today, makes sense - dry fruits and juices).
I spoke to people in information and also the social worker in the controlroom. They would not reveal the contact info/addresses of any of the people admitted. The social worker could not understand why we would be looking for the addresses of bereaved families. Tried to explain. I dont think I was very successful in this.

(We are trying to get information about the addresses of the bereaved families so we can visit them and see what their requirements are and also check if the deceased's widows or family members have bank accounts for those who desire to send in relief cheques which we can directly hand across.)

I think one thing to keep in mind is that this is a govt. hospital. Its not particularly well endowed in that sense. The people in the hospital would much prefer us helping in a more holistic way than just for the sake of the victims of recent terror attacks. From their view point this makes sense. They mentioned that they have several shortages in the hospital:
Benches/Stools for Families to sit on
were somethings she said.
If there is to be a corporate type sponsorship, perhapsone of the people can talk to some 'higher' officials to get an overall picture of needs and then fit it into their budget. Hopefully they wont mind though that this will be for the hospital itself and not particularly for the terror victims. Likewise the bedsheets and blankets. My friend brought a bunch of those to them, am sure they can use more, but its worthwhile to check today at end of the day as they are likely to get too much of this as well.
Well that's it I think. I went to the Mumbai Gathering too. Just to get a sense for what it is all about. It was OK. At least people young and old seem to be feeling it finally.

An update is that kbpm had messaged me last evening after her visit about these specific requirements and I had passed this message across to my phone list. Within the hour, a group of senior citizens had taken on the onus for supplying the hospital with their requirements. When that does come through will put up the details. But it was indeed heartwarming. Thank you people, for being so kind.

But that is a thought that I have had for a while, our basic facilities in the hospitals are all so stretched to breaking point that any help in this direction for any government hospital would no doubt be welcome. I urge people with a view to contributing long term to consider making donations towards the hospital corpuses, or donating equipments and things like stretchers, wheelchairs, bed linen, etc, or checking with the hospitals for their specific requirements and doing the needful. After all, we never know when we might be the unfortunate who are rushed to these hospitals in an emergency.

Once again, thank you kbpm, for the time, effort and concern.

This is what you can do today...

Go to the Gateway of India at 6 pm. I wont be there. I dont think thats what I would be satisfied with doing. But for those who would like to be there for this communal mourning of the departed, please do be there. This is a leaderless citizens initiative, and has been driven through SMSes and email and social network sites. "Something to show we are not going to take this lying down."

Spoke to a doctor at JJ Hospital who insisted they have received quite enough of fruits and biscuits to last them months, and requests people to send other items instead:

Bedsheets, Blankets, bed linen (simple cotton, but new, not old).
Small dry fruit packets which can be easily handed out to individual patients.
Tetrapak juices (small single use ones, for each patient)
Clothes (please send new clothes, they could be simple cotton kurtapyjamas, nightsuits, etc, gowns, childrens clothes but not old used clothes no matter how good the condition.)Rubber sheets

These can be sent to GT Hospital
Cama Hospital
JJ Hospital
Mumbaikars, please do help the injured recover from their trauma faster.

Also, to honour those who lost their lives in this attack, a special memorial prayer service is being held at the St Xavier's College Hall, tomorrow, Thursday, Dec 4 at 5.30 pm at the college hall.

Students, staff, alumni and wellwishers are welcome to pay their respects.

The Art of Living Foundation is offering free trauma relief workshops for Mumbaikars. These sessions will be conducted in South and Central Mumbai and are open to all. Visit

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Does any of us ever think about this?

Do we know how to handle any medical emergency? Do you know CPR, do you have a basic knowledge of how to tackle burns, injuries, fractures, etc? Or how to assess a bullet wound? You dont need to be a doctor, just a lay person, who has taken the trouble to educate his or herself.
Ask your family doctor for a basic lesson in first aid. Check if your local hospitals offer free or paid for first aid and emergency medical situation workshops.
Little information you know could be the vital difference between life and death.
In situations like terrorist attacks, if you have been shot, but the bullet doesnt hit a vital organ, you could still pull through if you donot suffer from excessive blood loss. If anyone else around you is injured, you should know the basics of CPR, how to make a tourniquet to stem blood loss, or to maximise chances of survival till medical assistance reaches you.
I also strongly urge hospitals to conduct short emergency first aid workshops in their cities for all citizens who are keen on learning, to enable citizens take care of themselves or the injured person in the vital initial period after the injury.
An important point: Never move anyone who is unconscious or has struck his head or was
injured in a car crash, unless he or she is in danger.
Also, have on your person, a card detailing any chronic ailments or allergies or illnesses like diabetes, bloodpressure, thalassemia etc, so that any treatment can be carried out with knowledge of these illnesses if you are unconcious.
And lastly, keep yourself physically and mentally fit. This means working out, exercising, working out, eating healthy and living healthy. Your body has more of a fighting chance if it is fit to begin with, should you be unfortunate to get into such a situation.

Some tips from
How to Handle an Emergency Situation
Remaining Calm during an Emergency Situation
If you are faced with an emergency situation, the most important thing that you need to remember is to stay calm. It is usually easier said then done, but panicking will accomplish nothing and may cost you valuable time. If you panic, you risk complicating an already bad situation by making it even worse, so each and every emergency situation needs to be handled calmly.

Staying Calm and Collected
When faced with an emergency situation, remaining calm and collected can have a beneficial result for everyone involved. Remaining calm will help medical personnel to respond more quickly. If you are panicking during an emergency situation, it will take longer for you to call emergency personnel and relay important information to them and they may not be able to understand what you are saying. If you remain calm you can clearly explain what first aid care sick or injured individuals might need.
Time is usually crucial when administering emergency medical care. If there is a medical situation that you cannot remedy or help, at least your quick and calm contact with a 9-1-1 operator can help medical technicians get there sooner. If you panic, you will definitely complicate an already stressful situation because people surrounding you are also likely to panic if they see you upset. (the 911 is not applicable in India, but we have a medical emergency number in Mumbai, Accident cases only: 102 and Heart Attack: 105 ).
No amount of knowledge or training can adequately prepare you to handle an emergency situation. The real test of whether or not you handle the situation correctly won’t occur until you’ve actually experienced an emergency. Sometimes individuals who always assumed they would panic when faced with a crisis are able to remain calm when an emergency actually occurs.
If you want the best chance of remaining calm in an emergency situation, practice what you would do if an emergency should occur. Run drills with your family and enact different scenarios each time. What would you do if you were trapped in the basement after a tornado? What would you do if there were a flood rushing your way? How would you react if you were trapped in your home and a family member was injured or ill? By practicing different drills, you’ll be better prepared should the situation occur.
It doesn’t really matter what emergency situation you are faced with -- remaining calm is always important if you want the best possible outcome. Always keep in mind that you need to remain level-headed during a crisis and that an emergency will be handled best without hysteria and excitement.

Read this:
And this link for all the emergency medical help numbers we hope you never need:

Thank you...

I am overwhelmed by all the offers of help pouring in....
And I know, I have asked a lot of you to keep your cheques on hold. I am trying to locate a trustworthy NGO in order to channelise the funds through them and be assured it reaches the right people. Please give me a day.
For all of you who are in Mumbai, the families need groceries and provisions for the next months, since it will be a while before dues are cleared, including November salaries. Those who have expressed interest in this, I am getting the addresses, but its a long process. When I do, I will mail you individually for your action on it.
Once again, thank you.

Biscuits and Fruits, please

Candles are going to be pretty media sound bytes, but I'd rather help out in other ways.
The staff at the hospitals where the injured have been admitted have been admitted have requested the layman to help the injured with fruits and biscuits for a good diet, requisite to enable the healing process to be speedy.
The standard hospital diets are not enough, fruits and fruit juices, which are essential are beyond hospital budgets.
Children refuse bland hospital food. Biscuits would be welcome for them.

Please send fruits and biscuits to the poorer wounded at the following hospitals:
JJ hospital: Dr Jaidev (23735555)
St George: Dr Ashok Shinde ( 9869 050622)
GT Hospital: 22630553
Please forward this to all concerned Mumbaikars.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Here's how you can help

We visited the family of the sweeper of GT Hospital yesterday to enquire what we could do to help.
The family, I am told, lives in a pitiable condition. The shanty they live in is in a ramshackle condition. There is no money to even conduct the rites tomorrow. No groceries to feed three children. Salary had not yet come in, now that the wage earner is gone.
Any cash, groceries and provisions help would be highly appreciated. Please deliver directly to
Thakur Budhabhai Waghela's residence, The address is ST College Compound,Badruddin Tyabji Marg, G T Hospital, near Room No 1, Mumbai 40001
He has three childrenRashmi (Std 3)Dhawal (2nd Std)And Niraj, who is in nursery. I will request for their fee books, to pay their entire years fees. It isRs 500 per month. Anyone want to help out with this?

For the Watchman of Cama Hospital
1] Send cheques directly in the name of:Pravin Bhanu Narkar
(with an accompanying letter to the Medical Supt/Matron of CamaHospital, VT, stating this is to be deposited in his account for relief).
His son is 24 and jobless and not qualified. A peons job or a deliveryboy or something could be worked out which does not require qualifications would be great. If anyone can organise something like that. Please do let us know.

2] Baban Ugde
Also a Cama Hospital staffer killed
Servant Quarters
Cama Hospital,
Cheque to be made out in his name and handed over to the matron or medical superintendent with an accompanying letter.