EIGHT YEARS ago, their world changed in more ways than one. On Saturday, they came together in sombre remembrance of that day. Survivors of the 26/11 attack and their families gathered at Kala Ghoda in Mumbai for “Stories of Strength”, an exhibition of videos that documents their struggles over the last eight years. The 26/11 Stories of Strength event was presented by The Indian Express and Facebook. The exhibition is a series of 26 video clips featuring survivors of the attacks, some of whom lost dear ones and others who survived injuries and fear. From a teenager who wants to join the IPS to fight and end terrorism to an octogenarian mother who has petitioned the courts for better security and surveillance, the videos are a retelling of the attacks that impacted homes across Mumbai.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis inaugurated the exhibition and also watched one of the 26 video clips on display, an interview with Govind Singh Kathayat who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in the aftermath of the attacks. Govind and his family were present at the event, along with other survivors.
Eminent personalities from all walks of life, from politics to business, attended the exhibition. Guests included Jaspal Bindra, Chairman, Centrum Bank; Darius Khambatta, Former Advocate General, Maharashtra; BJP’s Shaina NC and Raj Purohit; Congress leader Suresh Shetty; Tasneem Mehta, Director, Bhau Daji Lad Museum; and Vappala Balachandran, Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, and a member of the committee that probed the role of the Mumbai Police in the 26/11 attacks.
Addressing the families in the audience, Anant Goenka, Executive Director of The Express Group, said, “It is important we do this because it is your courage that defines us, it is your hope that renews ours and truth is that we still live in an age of terrorism.”
A panel discussion titled “Strength, Courage and Duty” was also held on the occasion and had as participants Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police Deven Bharti, US national Kia Scherr who lost her husband and daughter in the attack at the Oberoi Hotel, former journalist Sourav Mishra who survived the attack on Leopold Cafe, Rahul daCunha, Creative Head of daCunha Communications Pvt Ltd and Tony Sgro, Founder and CEO of EDVenture Partners. The discussion was moderated by Praveen Swami, Editor – Strategic Affairs, The Indian Express.