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13/7: 'What's the point of writing about us? No one cares'

Last updated on: July 10, 2012 13:58 IST's A Ganesh Nadar visits the house of diamond trader Chadrakant Wanker, who was killed in the blast at Opera House in Mumbai on July 13, 2011. Resigned to fate and hopes of help, the Wankers are still at loss of words to describe the tragedy.

The Wanker household at Bhatwadi in suburban Ghatkopar-West wears a resigned look.

A year after 42-year-old Chandrakant Wanker died in the blast at Opera House, his wife and two children have still not got over the tragedy.

As I sat in their house talking to the bereaved family about Chandrakant, his sullen wife quietly slips away. Her seven-year-old daughter following her steps out of the house.

Chadrakant's younger brother Rajan, who works in a private company, tells me: "This Friday will be a year since that horrible day. When we heard about the blasts we immediately called his mobile phone. A policeman answered the call and informed us about his death. We rushed to Harkisandas hospital to claim his body."

"We are trying our best to get Chetna (Chandrakant's wife) a government job. She has studied up to Class 9; she can become a Class 4 employee. The security of a government job would help her bring up her children."

Chandrakant's two brothers and his family stay at their father, Shankar Wanker's house.

Says Rajan, "Chandrakant was a diamond trader; he used to buy small stones and sell them for meagre profit. After his death, we received a compensation of Rs 5 lakh from the government.

The family has been running pillar-to-post trying to secure a job for Chetna.

"I have sent a letter to the chief minister and also met Bharatiya Janata Party's Kirit Somaiya, (former Member of Parliament from Mumbai Northeast). He has promised to help. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is run by their ally, the Shiv Sena. However, so far no one has come forward to help," he lamented.

Rajan, evidently, has lost hope.

"What is the point of you writing about us? No one cares." he said.

I had to intervene, "Perhaps someone will come forward to help you this time around."

Chandrakant's mother, who had been mum all along, couldn't resist tears as I moved in to click some photos of Chandrakant garlanded portrait.

For now Chandrakant's two children have been able to continue their schooling thanks to the Tata group, which has been paying their school fees.

But who will explain to the children why someone killed their father?

Image: (above) Chandrakant Wanker (below) Chandrakant's parents


A Ganesh Nadar