Amputated in the leg after 26/11 terror attack, Devika Rotawan struggles to make ends meet
Devika Rotawan was 10 years old when she was seriously injured in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Her life changed in many ways after terrorist Ajmal Kasab shot her in the leg. Devika underwent an amputation and her family faced many struggles. The Maharashtra government made many promises, but Devika says she has not received any help. Now finally some help has come her way.
Remember the 10-year-old brave heart Devika Rotawan who identified terrorist Ajmal Kasab after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai? Devika had to undergo an amputation in the right leg after she was shot at by Kasab.
Her life changed in every way. She had to cope with the aftermath of that injury and frequently go to court to identify Kasab during the trial. Images of Devika entering the court premises with her father holding her crutches to testify against Kasab are still fresh in the minds of many. Devika was termed as ‘India’s brave heart’ and ‘India’s daughter’.
Today, this 20-year-old youngster is struggling to make ends meet. Her story and photos have re-surfaced on social media after Congress MLA Zeeshan Siddique visited her home to offer her financial assistance.
Life changes for good
The 26/11 Mumbai attacks that happened in the year 2008 is one of the most dreaded terrorists attacks that the world has seen till date. Nearly 200 people were killed and hundreds were injured in the attacks. Amongst them was 10-year-old Devika Rotawan who was with her father and brother at the CST station, one of the main locations where Kasab and his group unleashed terror. According to Devika’s story shared on social media page ‘Humans of Bombay’, the youngster says that she was walking with her father to use the restroom when chaos erupted. Kasab immediately shot at her after which she felt pain and collapsed. Devika woke up at a hospital the next day.
Though she left to her village after that, Devika had to return back to Mumbai to identify Kasab as there were only very few survivors. She had to face numerous backlashes, including those from her own relatives who were scared and sidelined Devika and her family fearing more terrorists would come back for them. But at a young age, all that Devika could think of was giving justice to all those who lost their lives and were attacked just like her.
Devika walked to the court with her crutches, identified Kasab, but tough times were only beginning. Her father had to shut down business, landlords asked for a hike in rent and state government’s promised a flat which still remains unfulfilled. In spite of all the odds, even today, Devika hopes to become an IAS officer and serve the country after all that she has gone through for standing up for justice.
Need for financial support
Devika’s heart-warming story and her struggles came to light when Congress MLA Zeeshan Siddique visited her recently. Devika currently lives in a cramped home at Bandra East in Mumbai.
“Meet Devika Rotawan. This brave girl was 9 yrs old when she identified terrorist Kasab in court after 26/11 attacks. She showed me her Bullet wound & I heard her inspiring story. Went to her house in Bandra East to give her a cheque when I found out about her financial struggle!”, tweeted Siddiqui.
He further added, “I request Hon. @CMOMaharashtra to give this brave girl Devika a house in mumbai under special quota. I will be writing a letter for the same! We must award her for the bravery she has shown. This will be a great token of appreciation from the #MahaVikasAghadi government!”.
Siddiqui’s gesture received a lot of praise. “Good job @tehseenp more power to you for helping Devika Rotawan the survivor & youngest witness of 26/11”, tweeted journalist Siddarth Srinivas.
“The brave Devika Rotawan not only survived Ajmal Kasabs bullets in 26/11 but stood up in court & identified him. When it was time to stand up for her @tehseenp came forward and did so. Proud of you my friend!”, tweeted film critic Satish Kumar M.
Devika and her family still hope that the state government would stick to their promise and provide the family with support at the earliest.
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