The world of Maheebunnisa Mansuri (38), a Jari Mari resident, came crashing down as tragedy struck her one after the other.
On September 5, her husband, Haider Ali, who was a daily labourer, was injured while he was working at a construction site of a company in Kurla. The accident left him paralysed down from his waist.
After the accident, the Saki Naka police registered an FIR against the contractor. The family, on the other hand, started raising funds with the help of a not-for-profit organisation and with the hope of his getting back on his feet.
However, as money started trickling in and their hopes soared, tragedy struck Maheebunnisa for the second time, as Ali died on Thursday. He is survived by Maheebunnisa and five children.
A native of Uttar Pradesh, Maheebunnisa had moved to Mumbai along with Ali over a decade ago. Now, all his children had dropped out of school after Ali’s accident due to lack of money.
Ali was a ‘naka worker’, who used to stand at the Jari Mari junction in search of work at construction sites. In the first week of September, he along with two others got employed at a loading factory in the Safed Pool area of Saki Naka.
“On September 5, as he was doing the cementing work of the roof, it collapsed and he fell down. He was not given any safety equipment by the employers. Ali was unconscious for a few hours and was rushed to the Sion hospital. He suffered paralysis from the waist down,” said Deepak Paradkar, a senior associate with the Aajeevika Bureau, a not-for-profit organisation that works with migrant workers. In order to foot the medical bill, fellow labourers, relatives and shopkeepers in the area pooled in money.
The police initially did not register an FIR in the matter. “When we approached the Sakinaka police, they claimed that Ali had told them that he slipped in his house. When we asked how they recorded his statement as he had been unconscious for a long time, they agreed to register an FIR,” Paradkar said. Eventually, on October 15, the Saki Naka police registered an FIR under section 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the contractor and owner for not providing safety equipment to workers. The police did a spot panchnama of the factory and recorded the accused’s statement. Also, along with his colleagues Paradkar started a crowdfunding campaign for Ali’s treatment.
Maheebunnisa told The Indian Express, “As a result of lying down on the bed, he had developed bed sores. There was a machine to get rid of them, but it cost Rs 18,000 per week. After two weeks we could not afford it. So, we stopped it last Sunday.”
By Thursday, the crowdfunding campaign, which had a target of Rs 5 lakh, had collected Rs 35,000. However, before the information could reach the family, they got the news that Ali had died due to some complications arising out of his injury.
“I am devastated. When finally things were looking bright, everything got ruined. I don’t know what the future holds for me and my five children,” Maheebunnisa said.
Senior inspector of Saki Naka police station, Kishor Sawant, said since Ali had died, they will be adding section 304 (A) (causing death due to negligence) of the IPC to the FIR. In the meantime, the cash that was raised through crowdfunding had gone to the family.