Distraught with the news of her husband’s death in Mosul, Dipali Tikadar now harbours just one wish: a meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to seek a government job.
Dipali’s husband Samar Tikadar was kidnapped along with 38 other Indians in Iraq in 2014 by the Islamic State. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced in Parliament on Tuesday that all 39 men were dead.
“I will tell the CM when I meet her about my poor financial condition, and appeal for a government job. I think she will understand my situation,” Tikadar, a mother of two, said.
Over the past four years, she had been toiling hard to make ends meet for her two children with a hope that her husband’s return will change their life for better.
“I thought after Samar returns, our days of hardship would be over. But now, I don’t know what to expect from life,” Dipali Tikadar said.
She is staring at an uncertain future with little means to provide for her children. Her son Sudip is making preparations for Class X board exams and daughter Sharmistha is a student of Class 4.
“I want a government job so that I can arrange for the education of my children,” the 35-year-old woman said.
The tin shed over her mud house in Nadia district, along the Indo-Bangladesh border, is also in need of immediate repair, but Tikadar says she has no money.
“I get Rs 4,800 as an Integrated Child Development Service worker. It is not enough to run a family. Please arrange to take me to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” she pleaded.
Samar Tikadar had left for Iraq in 2011, much like Khakon Tikadar -- both residents of Chapra Mahakhola area of Nadia district, close to India-Bangladesh border. Their families last heard from them early 2014 before the abduction by IS militants.
Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh has said that it would take the government eight to 10 days to bring back the remains of the 39 workers.
Dipali Tikadar, however, is not keen on visiting Kolkata airport to receive her husband’s remains.
“Even if I get scope to go to the airport to receive the remains of my husband, I won’t go. I am too depressed to handle the situation,” she said, adding that the Nadia administration has collected blood samples from Samar’s siblings for a DNA test.
Image: Members of National Human Rights and Crime Control Organisation in Amritsar light candles to pay tribute to the 39 Indian workers who were killed in Iraq. Photograph: PTI Photo