KARACHI: Although promises of compensation money pour in from the authorities when a major incident takes place, they turn out to be hollow once the tide recedes.
Something similar happened with the people who were injured when two passenger trains collided in Karachi’s Landhi area. The incident that took place on November 3, 2016 had claimed at least 22 lives and left more than 40 injured.
Among the injured persons were a woman and her husband, Suraiyya and 60-year-old Abdul Ghaffar. They were on-board in one of the compartments of Fareed Express that was hit by Zakaria Express.
The accident affected Suraiyya’s arm and waist, while Ghaffar got muscle and head injuries.
The economic background of Suraiyya and Ghaffar does not allow them to get themselves properly treated. Suraiyya says she cannot do any work to make a living, while her husband — who used to work at a marriage hall — can also not go back to his job given their physical state.
“I cannot even lift my hand up properly or walk longer distances as I get tired quickly,” Suraiyya tells Geo News. “A doctor suggested I should get my arm operated, but I refused since we cannot afford the cost of an operation.”
She adds the doctor gave an alternate option of physiotherapy, but since that costs around Rs400 per visit, Suraiyya has let go of that option as well. “Plus the rickshaw ride to the hospital costs around Rs600 every day.”
They were given a small percentage of the promised amount, but getting that was a mountain to climb, given the injuries the both of them are still struggling to get treated.
Ghaffar says Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique had promised an amount of Rs350,000 would be provided to each injured person within a week of the incident. But they had to make rounds of the railway office in Cantt Station, Karachi to get the amount, that too lesser than that which was promised. The couple says each of them got Rs100,000, although, although the amount for both of them had to be Rs700,000.
More than two months on, the pain persists.
They couple awaits the rest of the promised amount so that they could start a setup which could help earn money from home and prevent them from going out and pleading before others.
The accident occurred in Gaddafi Town Landhi when Zakaria Express hit the stationary Fareed Express.
Fareed Express was at Juma Goth Train station when Zakaria Express crashed into it.