Monday, December 22, 2008

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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