The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Three still wait to beat blasts

Mumbai, Sept. 24: Of the 22 victims admitted to hospital after the Mumbai twin blasts, only three remain. A month after the tragedy, their wounds have still not healed.

And they don’t know when the doctors will allow them to go home. “I don’t know when the doctor will allow me to go,” says 26-year-old Hanuman Gupta, who was an odd-job man in a shop selling buttons and clothes accessories in Zaveri Bazaar, one of the blast sites.

Hanuman suffered three injuries on his right leg and one on his left. He was also hurt in three places on his back. He was hit by shards of glass when the blast hit the building. Hanuman feels that a piece of glass still remains wedged in his left sole. “This wound has dried up, the doctors said,” he says, pointing to it.

“But I feel something inside. The x-ray also showed something. I will have to go to a private hospital after I am discharged because the doctors are treating the other wounds.”

His parents have come down from Uttar Pradesh to be with him. His father sleeps in the hospital corridor and his mother daily shuttles between his rented room in the suburb of Mankhurd and the hospital. Back home, his wife and daughter are waiting.

Hanuman, who can barely step on his left foot now, is scared about the long months he will be forced to stay in bed if he goes to a private hospital after this.

He has received Rs 25,000 as compensation from the government, which he says is not enough for the jobless months ahead. He is the sole earning member of his family. The compensation for each individual was calculated on the basis of the severity of injuries. “We got a lot of visitors for five to six days after the blasts. So many ministers came here promising so much. Now no one comes,” he says.

Ramsevak Mishra, 55, who lies in a bed near Hanuman’s, is also worried that the doctors have still not discharged him.

An employee in a bullion firm, he had just stepped out of his Zaveri Bazaar office when the blast occurred. He was injured in the stomach and left knee. He doesn’t know when he will be able to get back to work, because he will need some rest after returning home.

Ramsevak, too, is the sole breadwinner of his family of seven. “I can get back to my previous job, but I don’t know when. I don’t even know if I will be able to work properly because I have to lift heavy weights at times,” he says.

Mohammad Afzal, 19, is not very worried about a job, but he, too, doesn’t know when he will be discharged. An employee in a shoe store, he was badly hit near his left ankle. “I have been given only Rs 10,000 as compensation. If my injuries weren’t serious, how come I am still here'” he asked.

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