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Story of Courage

Kirit Nama – 20

· English

Today I received a SMS on my mobile -

“तुमच्या सगळ्यांच्या असण्यानेच माझे आयुष्य परिपूर्ण आहे. प्रत्येकाने मला काहीतरी दिले आहे, शिकवले आहे. Thank you so much guys for being there in my life... तुम्ही सगळेच माझ्या आयुष्यात महत्त्वाचे आहात.”

“My life is complete because of you all I have received some or the other thing from everybody, learnt so many things. Thank you so much guys for being there in my life… you all are so important in my life.”

Mahendra’s Message

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This Message of Mahendra Pitale has been an example for all those who have lost their limbs in some or other accident. Mahendra had lost his one hand during the terriorist attack in Mumbai Railway in the year 2006 and today on 30th November 2019 I am so very happy to receive his SMS thank you so much for that.

          30th November is celebrated as “Thanks Giving Day” in America. It is celebrated to commemorate all the people who have helped us in our life which expresses our gratitude towards them. It is reminded to them about the help they have given us and I was so happy to receive Mahendra’s Thanks Giving message on this festive evening.

          While I was attending one of my relative’s wedding in Belgaum on 2nd December I met one of Mahendra Pitale’s friend who informed me about the sad demise of his mother on 28th November. Although being grief stricken due to this demise I was really surprised to receive his thanks giving message of 30th November.

          In the past 13 years Mahendra used to occassionally send me some messages, but this message of thanks giving was because recently Mahendra had got a job in Western Railway as he wanted. He was now a clerk in the head office of Western Railway  at Churchgate. Mahendra Pitale had once again expressed his satisfaction and gratitude after 13 years. 

Who is Mahendra Pitale?

  • Mahendra Pitale was a victim of the serial bomb blast in Mumbai Railway of 11th July 2006.
  • Mahendra had lost his left hand in the Jogeshwari station bomb blast in 2006.
  • As he was a fine artist by profession losing a limb was a great stroke of his life.
  • As he was a fine artist by Profession he needs both hands.
  • He was working in a firm that dealt with culture, carving and architecture.
  • His family comprised of his Mother, Father and two brothers who were dependant on him and in such situation he lost his hand.
  • He was in depression for around 4-6 months after the incident.
  • I came in touch with him a few days after the blast.
  • While talking to him, I realized that he could be given an artificial electronic limb from the Ottobock Company, With the help of which he could newly start his life and live it with self-respect.
  • The victims of such bomb blast were provided with Artificial Electronic Limbs through Ottobock Company which retrieved them back to life.

Mahendra with Modern Artificial Hand

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  • He was a little satisfied with this modern electronic limbs but was unable to persue works like painting, carving etc as it was not possible to it with artificial limbs which made him unhappy.
  • later Mahendra went to meet the people of the Prosthetics Manufacturing Company and his morale was boosted when he was shown the videos of some disabled people.
  • After resuming back to work after the bomb blast his employer asked him to work on the computer as it was not possible for him to the work where he required both his hands.
  • He started to work on computers but was earning half the salary of what he previously earned.
  • Meanwhile Railway declared to provide employment in railways for all those who were disabled in the bomb blast. Mahendra’s paper work was already completed in 2008.
  • Both Mahendra and myself were putting a lot of effort for his job in Railways. We were continuously following up through correspondences with  Western Railway, DRM Office, GM office and Railway Minister's Office.
  • In December 2015 Mahendra got a post of Coach Care Center in group D in Western Railway.

Western Railway Appointment letter

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  • Railway appointed him in the Coach Care Center, in the beginning even he consistenly did a lot of hard and heavy work but he could not continue the same due to his physical disability. He applied to General Manager Western Railway for a transfer in a place which was suited to him.

Mahendra’s Application letter

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  • When there was no change in his duties even after writing a letter to the General Manager of the Western Railway, he came back to me and requested me saying, "Sir Please help me to get the transfer from Group D to Group C."
  • Accordingly I wrote a letter to the GM and DRM Western Railway that Mahendra was an artist and had a good knowledge of working on computers. The work given to him by the Railways was not according to his potentials and of no use to the Railways.

Recommendation letter for Group Change to General Manager, Western Railway

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  • I requested that he should be taken in Group C and appointed as a writer. I even told them that if such disables were given job according to their potentials then they will be of great use. The General Manager accordingly wrote a letter to the Railway Ministry.

Letter from Ministry of Railways for providing proper work to the Disabled Persons

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  • After a lot of efforts finally Mahendra was transferred in group C and now he is working there happily.

Change of Category letter

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  • After the loss Mahendra did not lose hope he worked hard and created his own identity in his new world, decided a new direction for his life and set on that path accordingly.
  • Determined that not to be depressed again, he joined a group of Royal Enfield Bullet riders and for creating awareness he started touring across the country, he has even been to Ladakh on bike.
  • Mahendra has always proved to be a role model for the people who had been disabled. He started meeting people who had lost an organ in an accident, to encourage them, to inform them how to use electronic limbs, how to lead a new life. Thus giving psychological support to such people.  
  • Every year, on the 11th of July he joins me, in the tribute program at Mahim obsesrved as the death anniversary in the memory of the victims of train bomb blast without fail and comforts the relatives of the victims.

Tribute to Victims of 11 July

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It is an immense pleasure in putting self confidence in the life of a person who has lost an organ and bringing him back on the way to lead the life.