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On the 25th of every month, Raju would go to Govindpuri to meet his father Badri Prasad. Working for most of the day and living almost 40 km apart, this once-a-month meeting was the only arrangement that worked for them.
This Friday too, Raju, who is in his late 30s, was preparing to go meet his father when a call at 12.30 pm would rush him to Holy Family Hospital instead.
“A relative had called. He told me my father met with an accident,” said Raju, who works as a plumber in Gurgaon. “We had talked just three days ago. He told me – pacchchees tarikh ko aa jaana pakka, maine paise sambhal ke rakhe hue hain (Don’t forget to come on the 25th, I’ve kept some money aside for you).” Raju’s elder brother, Ramesh, got to know of the news before him.
“My father’s contractor called me at around noon. He said there had been an incident and called me to Holy Family Hospital,” said Ramesh. “It’s only when I got there that I was told he was no more.”
Having heard from others that his father may have been breathing when he was pulled out, Ramesh feels he could have been saved if timely interventions were made.
“I heard from other workers that the incident occurred around 10 am. But he was taken to the hospital only around 11, even though it is only five minutes away by road,” said Ramesh.
The brothers were the only immediate family Prasad had in Delhi. His wife, eldest son and daughter stay in Rajasthan’s Dausa district, and worked as agricultural labourers.
Badri lived alone at his Rajiv Gandhi Colony quarters. He had been working in Delhi for the last 40 years.
“We went to the site later and found his clothes, ID card and an untouched lunch box. We took them with us,” said Ramesh.