Kabirdham: Tragedy took away 10 members of the family, will never forget: Survivor said

The Uncut

Kawardha. Jodhiram Dhurve, one of those who saved his life by jumping out of the vehicle during a road accident in Chhattisgarh’s Kabirdham district on Monday, said that this accident took away 10 members of his family including his wife, he will never forget it.
Dhurve says that he jumped out of the car thinking that the driver would handle everything but in this tragedy many people including his wife died.

While bringing back a team of tendu leaf collectors from the forest, a pickup vehicle fell down the valley at Banjari Ghat in Kukdur police station area on Monday afternoon. In this incident, 19 tribals including 15 women and three minor girls died and three others were injured. Of the dead, 17 were residents of Semrah village and two others were from nearby villages.

“We were using the same vehicle for the last three days,” Dhurve said in Semrah village on Tuesday. No one knew that the fate would be different on Monday.” He told, “Like every day, on Monday, about 36 people had left in a pickup vehicle from Semrah village at 4 in the morning to pluck tendu leaves in Bahpani area, 25 kilometers away. After completing the work, we gathered near the vehicle at 12.30 and had lunch. “Later left for Semrah at 1:20.” Dhurve said, “Bundles of tendu leaves were kept at the back of the goods vehicle and women were sitting on top of the bundles. I was sitting near the driver in the cabin. When the vehicle was descending into Banjari Ghat, the driver asked people to jump from the moving vehicle saying that the brakes had failed and he was not able to stop.”

He told, “Then I told the driver to turn the car towards the rock as this would help in stopping the car. After this, I shouted and asked the people in the vehicle to jump out of the vehicle, after which some people jumped out of the vehicle. “After the person sitting next to me jumped out of the vehicle, I did the same.” Dhurve said, “We thought that the driver would be able to control the vehicle, but he also left the steering and jumped out. After which the vehicle fell into a valley about 40 feet deep and crashed on the road down the hill,” he said, “We heard screams. I and others who managed to get out reached him. My wife and other women were lying on the road. “We gave them water to drink.”

Dhurve said, “With the help of others, I lifted my wife Dhanbai Dhurve (52) and brought her under the shade of a tree. Two Anganwadi workers reached there and people passing by called an ambulance. An ambulance reached there 45 minutes after the accident.” The villager said, “My wife was hit on the head but she was conscious and was talking to me. The other injured including the wife were taken to Kukdur Hospital in an ambulance.” He told, “I told my elder son present in the village about the incident on phone, after which he reached the hospital. “After initial treatment, my wife was being taken to the district hospital of Kawardha city for treatment, but she died on the way.” Dhurve said that he has lost 10 of his family members in this tragedy and will not be able to forget this incident as long as he lives.

Of the 17 dead in Semharha, 10 were from the same family and four were from another family. While three others also belonged to the same family. Those who lost their lives in the accident were Pyari Bai God (40), Sonam (16), Shanti Bai God (35), Kiran (15), Leela Bai (35) and daughter Bharti (16), residents of Semrah. On Tuesday, the last rites of 17 dead were performed in Semrah, the other two bodies were taken to Singhari.

A heart-wrenching scene was witnessed in Semraha on Tuesday morning when the bodies of the deceased were being taken for cremation on a tractor-trolley. 10 bodies were placed on a long pyre for cremation, four other bodies were placed on a separate pyre and three on another pyre. State Deputy Chief Minister Vijay Sharma attended the funeral in Semraha.

Sharma said, “As per the wishes of the relatives of the deceased and the villagers, arrangements will soon be made to build a memorial in the memory of the deceased.” He said, “This is a very painful moment… Most of the people who died in the accident are mothers (women). I feel as if I have lost my family members. I pray to God to give strength to the relatives of the deceased.”

Sharma said, “Not only the people of Chhattisgarh but the entire country has expressed their condolences on this incident. President Draupadi Murmu ji, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, Home Minister Amit Shah ji and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Vishnudev Sai ji have expressed their condolences.” Chief Minister Sai has announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of each deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the injured. This assistance will be in addition to the ex-gratia amount provided by the district administration in such cases.

Share This Article
Leave a comment