Delhi

Blaze engulfs dreams and hopes of three families

Fire personnel rescue an injured person at the factory in Jhilmil industrial area on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: R_V_Moorthy

Among the victims who suffocated to death, when the fire broke out in a factory in Jhilmil industrial area, is a 19-year-old only son, a mother of three who took care of her children’s education with her salary and a mother of five.

Sangeeta Devi (46), hailing from Bihar and a resident of Krishna Vihar, used to work in the packaging department at the taps manufacturing factory for the last eight-nine years.

Her son had come visiting the parents after writing his Class 10 examination in Bihar.

Meagre income

“My brother Rohit (12), sister Munni (23) and I stay and study in our village in Bihar. I had come to Delhi for a vacation about a month ago. We had to visit our relatives on Sunday in Noida,” said Sangeeta’s son Sunny.

“My father works in a factory in Krishna Vihar only but does not earn much. My mother used to get ₹8,500 a month and was taking care of our education”.

Sangeeta’s relatives also said that she was unwell and had planned to take a day off on Saturday but decided against it fearing loss of pay.

Standing next to Sangeeta’s family were relatives and son of another victim Manju Devi (50), a resident of Loni, who had been working in the factory for the last 15 years.

Manju’s son Manish (17) said that his father was suffering from a liver infection and had been hospitalised about three months ago for 20 days.

Father unwell

“My mother used to earn ₹6,000 a month and her income was stable. My father’s work is unstable as he often falls ill. My mother had also got my brother join this factory about a month ago,” he said.

Recalling his last conversation with his mother, Manish said that he asked her for ₹100 before she left for work on Saturday as he owed the amount to someone.

19-year-old victim Shoaib Ali’s mother Fatima Begum was inconsolable outside the GTB mortuary and continued to blame those who did not inform the family on time.

“They killed my son. He died at 9 a.m. but they informed us only at 1 p.m. Nobody saved him,” she said.

Shoaib was the only son of Fatima Begum and Wahid Ali, a tailor in Seelampur. Their 18-year-old daughter is pursuing her graduation.

Make cash memos

“He had completed his graduation and used to make cash memos in the factory. He started working about a year and a half ago and used to get ₹10,000 a month,” the father said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 5:03:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/blaze-engulfs-dreams-and-hopes-of-three-families/article28424790.ece

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