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Odisha train crash; Bengal family loses three sons and all breadwinners

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The three sons had promised their mother that they would come back after two months with their hard-earned money to take care of their children’s education and a better life for the family members.

KOLKATA:  The accident in Balasore has not only snatched away Subhadra Gayen’s three sons but also dried up the income of the 12-member family in Basanti, South 24-Parganas of West Bengal. The three brothers, Haran (47), Nishikanta (45) and Dibakar (41) were going to Andhra Pradesh to work as migrant labourers. They had promised Subhadra that they would come back after two months with their hard-earned money to take care of their children’s education and a better life for the family members.

“Now, I and my daughters-in-law and their children do not know what we will do. I find no way out other than begging, which will be difficult to feed 12 of us,” said Subhadra. Basanti, a part of the Bay of Bengal’s Sunderbans region, is inhabited by migrant workers because of a lack of jobs in remote areas. The three left their village on Friday along with their two other neighbours Bikash Halder (24) and Sanjay Halder (28) to board the Coromandel Express from Shalimar station in Howrah. “We heard about the train accident on Friday night when a neighbour, who has a TV in his house, came to our house after watching the news. I started praying for the safety of my sons and spent sleepless night,” Subhadra said.

“Next morning, the news of the death of Bikash and Sanjay came. I was counting the moments with a ray of hope that there would be good news for me. But my hope shattered when the local police came and informed me that my three sons were found dead in the mangled compartment in which they were travelling.

Everything in front of me collapsed,” recounted Subhadra in her 70s, with tears rolling down her face. Anjita, Haran’s wife, was speechless and fainted several times since then. Nishikanta’s wife Rekha continued lamenting hugging her two children. “Dibakar’s wife Brihaspati said she was against her husband’s decision of going to Andhra Pradesh. I told him that I would also join him and work as daily labouer in our area. But he said getting a job of a daily labourer in our area is difficult. I even told him that we would start begging, but he did not listen to me. He left for Andhra with two brothers to earn money for our children’s education,” she said.

According to state government officials, a total of 12 people lost their lives and 110 were injured from South 24-Paraganas. Haran, Nishikanta and Dibakar from Basanti, a part of Bay of Bengal’s Sunderbans region, were going to Andhra Pradesh to work as migrant labourers and promised their father they would come back after two months with money to take care of their children’s education and family members. A large number of migrant workers venture out to other states due to lack jobs in remote areas. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

359 Days ago