Dinesh Majhi is downcast and speaks in a forlorn voice, barely audible, while his eyes stay fixed on the stump on his right leg.
A bleeding Majhi lying on the footpath was DNA’s face a day after blasts ripped through the city on July 13. Everyone felt he had been killed in the blasts.
DNA tracked him down to Saifee hospital, a portion of his leg missing but his spirit intact. And DNA felt it should walk the extra mile to help Majhi walk and smile.
The 17-year-old had come to the city about a month before the blasts to make a living and help his folks back home in Baragobind village, Motihari district, Bihar.
He used to earn a few ‘hundreds’ working at a hotel in his village. The city of dreams promised him Rs1,500 per month along with food and lodging — an offer he couldn’t resist.
Several people wanted to help once DNA published his photo — Majhi lying on a bed in Saifee.
Navnath Kamble of Pratham, an NGO working in the field of education and child labour, kept in touch with him.
The idea was to ensure government compensation that came Majhi’s way was not misused.
Pratham, with help from the collector’s office, opened a bank account for Majhi where all the compensation money has been deposited.
The Taj Welfare Trust, which runs the Tata Group’s social welfare activities, promised to take care of all his needs: basic schooling, providing him with a prosthetic leg from Otto Bock Healthcare, vocational training and ultimately helping him secure an appropriate job.
Otto Bock Healthcare, the Indian arm of a German firm, will provide the artificial limb that would need minimal maintenance but would last much longer than traditional ones.
Majhi plans to meet his parents on Diwali, by which time he is determined to walk, run and do everything like anyone with two legs.
DNA wants to thank all its readers who kept enquiring with letters and emails about his progress, the Taj Welfare Trust, Otto Bock Healthcare, Pratham and the countless others who chipped in but preferred to remain anonymous.