IDL blast victim’s kin denied ex gratia as his body is ‘missing’
HYDERABAD: Whenever there is a knock on the door, T. Amaravathi becomes nervous. The 40-year-old widow hesitates to open the door fearing it could be yet another call for clearance of debts or dues of electricity bills, water cess or grocery store.
Though postponing bill payments, seeking hand loans and again borrowing to clear the earlier debts has become a routine for her, the 40-year-old widow feels embarrassed to do it repeatedly. She had been struggling since her husband T. Yogeshwar Rao ‘died’, along with nine other workers, in an explosion in Gulf Oil Corporation factory at Kukatpally three years ago.
If the unfortunate incident depressed her, refusal of the factory management to give ex gratia or at least a job to one of her family members made her life even more miserable.
Each family of the other nine employees who died in the explosion was given Rs. 15 lakh ex gratia and job in the factory.
The factory management argues Rao is missing as per the police records since his body was not found at the blast site. Legally, a person is declared presumed dead seven years after he goes missing. They are not ready to take into consideration the factory records that show Rao was on duty when the explosion occurred.
“Imagine my fate. All my three daughters were unmarried and my son was sitting idle having failed in SSC exams when my husband died,” Amaravathi says struggling to hold back tears. Taking loans from relatives, mortgaging whatever little gold jewellery she had and renting out portions of the house, the woman managed to marry off her first two daughters.
Her son Sampath joined a private job recently but the future of her unmarried third daughter is staring at her. She filed a writ petition in High Court and petitioned Justice Ashok Bhan, Supreme Court judge and executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority, recently seeking justice.
“I did all that I could. If the Government does not respond, I have to silently suffer ,” she said wryly.