The family of a Commonwealth Games worker left in a coma when a footbridge collapsed near Jawaharlal Nehru stadium said the Delhi government had abandoned them after his doctor revealed he will die, reports The Daily Telegraph, London in an investigative followup..
Shashi Mohan Kumar, a 22 year old labourer from Bihar, was working night shifts to complete the foot overbridge in time for the Games opening when it collapsed leaving 27 workers seriously injured and Kumar in a coma with severe brain injuries.
After the foot overbridge collapse, the Indian army was asked to build a Bailley bridge in record 5 days time. But the fate of the injured workers has since been forgotten, The Telegraph reports..
Despite a visit from Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and a promise that he would be taken care of, the Daily Telegraph found Kumar lying unconscious in AIIMS. His 18 year old brother who does not have a job said he had been left to pay for his medicines.
Balkrishan Sahu said not a single Commonwealth Games or government official had been to visit. Until the accident, Mr Kumar was supporting both his brother and their elderly father with his labourer's wages of Rs 120 per day.
Dr Ajay Singh, Kumar's doctor at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), said he had a “50-50” chance of survival while in hospital but will die when he returns to his village in Muzzafarpur district in Bihar.
“In the village, he has no chance, he will die,” he said. If he survives 15 days from his admission he could be sent back to his village. Once released, his breathing and feeding tubes will need to be cleaned every three hours, and it will be impossible to keep his wounds clean or stop a fatal infection, he added.
The family will face high medicine charges. A compensation cheque of Rs 3 lakh for his injuries will only cover drug charges for ten weeks. However, Kumar's brother has not been able to cash the cheque because the family does not have a bank account.
“We're all alone and no one is helping. I feel upset that they celebrated the opening with fireworks. My family is suffering because of the Games. If I have to resort to begging to support him, I'll do it because he has done so much for me,” he said.
Delhi's Labour minister Mangat Ram Singhal, said Kumar's family would receive an additional Rs 250,000 if he dies, and that a pension might be possible.
Lalit Bhanot, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee spokesman, said it had not offered any assistance because it was a matter for the building contractor. “We have been so busy conducting the event and this is just one unfortunate thing,” he said.