As late firefighter Nitin Ivalekar's family struggles to come to terms with the shock of his loss in the Lotus Business Park fire, a tide of goodwill and support from different corners of the city has buoyed their hopes in this distressing time. Just 15 days before his tragic death, Ivalekar had purchased a flat in Virar (East), after availing a house loan.
Since his death, Shubhangi had been worried sick how she would repay the loan through EMIs, after taking care of her children's basic needs. Thankfully, many people in the city have stepped up to the challenge of doing their bit for the hero's family, sending funds to Shubhangi.
Talking to mid-day, Shubhangi said, "The thought of the upbringing and education of both my daughters has been haunting me. I also have to repay the house loan." A Jain trust has donated Rs 1 lakh to the family, whereas the Thane fire brigade pitched with a demand draft of Rs 50,000. News channel Jai Maharashtra also extended a cheque worth Rs 10 lakh to the family.
Moved by the reports of the family's pitiful financial condition published in mid-day, a generous reader donated 10,000 to the family. Meanwhile, the Rs 15 lakh promised to the family by the BMC is still stuck in red tape, thanks to the lack of a succession certificate.
Shubhangi expressed her gratitude to NGOs like Shree Sankalp Pratishthan and Rotaract Club of Mumbai who have come forward to take responsibility for the schooling of both her daughters ('NGO pledges to keep Nitin Ivalekar's daughters in school,' July 26). While Shree Sankalp Pratishthan is ready to sponsor the girls' education till SSC, Rotaract Club of Mumbai is ready to take up the complete responsibility of educating one of her daughters.
Speaking about the Rs 15 lakh extended to the family by the Roshans and other property owners of Lotus Business Park, Sanjay Deshmukh, additional municipal commissioner said, "The compensation of Rs 15 lakh announced by the Lotus Business Park has been handed over to Nitin Ivalekar's brother in front of the fire department, since he had the authority letter with him on behalf of Shubhangi Ivalekar, Nitin's wife.
Also, a few legal formalities were to be completed by the family. Once they are fulfilled, I will complete the entire process of payment within the next eight days." A member of Lotus Business Park Society said, requesting anonymity: "We have already handed over a cheque worth R15 lakh to the chief fire officer and we also have a receipt for the same."
Funds received by the family
Rs 15 lakh from the Roshans and other society members of Lotus Business Park
Rs 10 lakh from Jai Maharashtra news channel
Rs 1 lakh from a Jain trust
Rs 50,000 from the Thane fire brigade station
Rs 10,000 from an anonymous benefactor