Finally, India Inc. has come together to the aid of terror martyrs' families. One knows that any kind of financial compensation cannot make up for the loss of a loved one, but the harsh reality is that we need money to survive.
Some of Mumbai’s young industrialists have set up a fund of Rs 2 Crores for the families of the security personnel who died in combat. The families of 14 policemen, NSG commando Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan & Marine Commando Gajendra Singh will get Rs 25,000 per month for the next 5 years. They are also evaluating the option of giving out Rs 10,000-15,000 per month for a longer duration, as opposed to Rs 25,000 per month for 5 years. This aid, in my opinion, is much better than the measly one-time compensation the government gives to the families of the deceased, as it is drawn out over a period of time, and the amount is substantial.
Most of these industrialists have refused to divulge their identities, which is so refreshing to hear. I was touched by what one of them had to say on the issue: “This is only a gesture to try and give something back to those who laid down their lives for this city, this country. This is a salute to our security agencies and reassure them that if, God forbid, anything happens to them while they are performing their duty, the people of this country will look after their families."
In a separate initiative, Mr Ratan Tata is setting up a new trust solely to help the victims of the terror attack under the flagship of the Indian Hotels Company, the company that owns the Taj. This financial aid will not be restricted to the families of staff & guests who got injured or lost their lives inside the Taj but will be available to anyone affected by the attacks, be it at CST, Leopold, Cama Hospital or Trident Hotel. Such is the character of Mr Ratan Tata. The man makes us respect him all over again - again & again.
Rebuilding the Taj is being estimated to cost him Rs 500 Crore but he’s not being stingy about helping the victims of the attack. Would like to see a similar initiative coming out of the Oberoi-Trident, if not for everyone who got injured/lost their lives during the attack but at least for their staff & guests who were victims. Also waiting to see if the Ambani brothers come up with any such initiative. In my mind, they definitely should. But I haven’t heard any noise from that quarter.
I’ve decided that this is going to be my last post on the attack. Unless I have something very significant to say. I need to bury this issue now, with all my respect to those who lost their lives – guests & staff of the two hotels, residents of Nariman House, people who lost their lives at CST, Cama Hospital & Leopold – and prayers for their families. Just because I’m putting this issue to rest does not mean I’m going to forget it. Not anytime soon. Probably not ever. Even though the terror attack did not affect me directly, it did strike a city very close to my heart. But the gloom has lingered for quite a while now, and I just realized it’s only 15 days to Christmas – the time of the year I wait for all year (apart from my birthday, ofcourse :)
So I need some HAPPY & CHEER. It’s time for Christmas, everyone!!!