Jogender Singh (42), who works as a security guard in Gurgaon, was looking forward to returning to his village in Uttar Pradesh next month. His 19-year-old son Mohit, who had joined him in the city three months ago, was to accompany him. They were going home to prepare for Mohit’s wedding in March.
These plans were torn asunder when Singh received news around 5.15 am on Thursday, that the building he and Mohit had been living in for the last three months had collapsed.
“I was on night duty at the gated condominium where I work as a security guard when I received a phone call about the collapse. Mohit handled the day shift and was at home when the building came down,” said Singh. He has two other children, a son and a daughter, who live with his wife in the village.
Singh said he rushed to Ullahwas village, only to find a pile of rubble beneath which his son’s body was later discovered.
Even as rescue teams looked for survivors and kept digging out items belonging to the victims — a haversack, utensils, two helmets, multiple blankets and mattresses — Singh refused to budge from the narrow lane where the building once stood.
Sitting on his haunches to watch the rescue efforts, he broke down multiple times and banged his head against the walls of other houses in frustration. “I moved to Gurgaon around eight months ago. I rented a room in this building three months ago, when Mohit joined me here… He was supposed to earn some money and get married. All that is gone now,” Singh said.