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Mumbai: Two years on, rail accident victim now an awareness campaigner

On Monday, the 18-year-old was at Ghatkopar station, the same place where she had lost both her hands to a local train, to spread safety measures among passengers along with Railway Police Force.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai |
September 27, 2016 3:01:08 am
mumbai, mumbai local train, monika more, mumbai train track deaths, mumbai train death, mumbai news, india news Monika More at Ghatkopar railway station Monday.

In her busy schedule between college and tuitions, train accident victim Monika More ensures she takes out time to participate in events to raise awareness on railway safety measures among commuters.

On Monday, the 18-year-old was at Ghatkopar station, the same place where she had lost both her hands to a local train, to spread safety measures among passengers along with Railway Police Force.

“I missed my college for it today,” the first-year BCom student said, adding, she tries to continue this work while not affecting her studies. Once in every three months, Monika also visits CST station where a meeting is held with Central Railway officials to discuss passengers’ issues in local trains.

The only accident victim in the committee of over 15 members, More has floated suggestions over required height of railway platforms, need for increasing frequency of trains to reduce crowd on stations and in trains, and to ensure no common public is allowed to enter coaches meant for physically handicapped people. As a commuter and an accident victim, she is able to present the hassles faced by passengers in daily travel.

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“It is frequent now for us. She receives invitation for Ganpati poojas and local events and she visits them all,” said father Ashok More.

On January 11, 2014, More, then 16, had lost both her hands when she fell into the six-feet gap between the train and the platform while boarding a local at Ghatkopar station.

She underwent amputation at KEM Hospital and lived there for six months until electronic prosthetic limbs were prepared and gifted to her by the hospital.

Local trains scare her now, more so her parents. Her parents are now cautious every time her younger brother uses it while returning from college in Parel to home in Kurla.

“What happened to me should not happen with anyone. I want to keep pursuing the issue of improving our railway system. People should not get scared of boarding a train thinking they might lose a limb or their life,” More said.

Whenever given a chance, she also raises awareness among passengers to avoid crossing railway tracks and from boarding a moving train.

Her day starts at 7 am when her college classes begin. She returns home after noon to rest before heading back for her tuitions. Her routine is slower than others as she is still adjusting to the electronic prosthetic limbs. In college canteen, her friends feed her with food. “We need special spoon with the prosthesis. I don’t carry it everywhere,” she said.

Even in bathing, she needs her mother’s help. The prosthesis weigh over a kilo each and her frail figure gets tired within four hours after constantly wearing them.

“After the accident, I need help with a lot of things. I can’t come in contact of water with the prosthesis,” she said. Once her height and weight increases, a new prosthesis would be required for her larger frame.

Her mother Kavita accompanies her to all the events held on railway safety measures. “People respond to her. Since she has experienced it,” her father said.

“I don’t want to do something grand. I want to lead a normal life. But if helping passengers know about railway safety helps save more lives then I want to do it,” More said.

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