Vikesh Mahida, 27, had come to Surat from Kherda village in Kushalgadh taluka of Banswada, to work as a mason at a construction site just three days ago with his wife Razina, 25, and their four-month-old daughter who was yet to be named.
Their elder daughter who is three years old was left with her parents in their native village. The children are now orphaned as their parents were among 15 persons killed when a dumper truck ran over a group of migrant labourer families who were sleeping on a footpath on the Kim-Mandvi road in Surat early on Tuesday. Vikesh’s sister, Julie, took the baby to their village.
Dharulal Mahida, sarpanch of Kherda village from where five victims of the accident hailed, rushed to Surat on getting information about the accident. “Five persons from my village and six from our neighbouring Vigatpura village died in the accident,” said Mahida.
Referring to the couple who died, the sarpanch said, “Vikesh earned 700 per day and his wife earned Rs 500 as masons. Vikesh’s brother–in-law Rakesh who also died in the accident has been working at a construction site in Kim for a month. Rakesh’s wife Suman who survived the accident returned to her native place with their child.”
Another migrant worker Manish Mevuliya who came to Surat on December 27, 2020, lost his wife Anita (40), in the accident.
Manish said, “I have been working as a construction mason for 15 years. I was working in Shivshakti Hotel at present after leaving my three children — Chamal (9), Priyanka (8), and Vikram (7) — at my parents’ home. We started working under contract. On Monday night, we returned to our settlement area from work, and after taking a bath, we prepared dinner. Anita and I had dinner and we slept on the cement concrete blocks around 11 pm.”
“My wife was next to me when the accident took place…. I also got injuries on my shoulder and head. I was shocked and could not think. Someone put me in an ambulance. I thought for my wife but was in immense pain… At SMIMER hospital, around 3 am on Tuesday I came to know from policemen and other injured persons around that my wife had died…” he added.