The Ashoka tree fallen on the road (right) grieving family of deceased Santosh Pandey
The Ashoka tree fallen on the road (right) grieving family of deceased Santosh Pandey

Mumbai : Biker Santosh Pandey (33), who was killed when a tree fell on him at Jogeshwari on Wednesday, can be called a very unfortunate man. The tree in question was not a giant rain tree or a huge Gulmohar tree but a slender Ashoka tree.

Yet, such was the impact that Pandey’s head cracked open the moment the tree fell on his head and he died instantly.

The mishap took place outside Satellite Park colony in Jogeshwari east. Remnants of the tree that took Pandey’s life were infested with termites. There are several Ashoka trees in the area. In fact, this is the most common tree in Mumbai.

All of Pandey’s friends and family had but one request for the BMC, they said that before the monsoons the BMC should survey the trees across the city and cut the trees which they think might be a threat to people’s lives.

They also added that since the BMC is quick to take action against anyone even a twig from a tree, they should now be more concerned about removing the trees that can pose a threat to a person’s life so that there will be no more incidents like this.

Pandey is survived by his mother, wife and two small children. His wife, Shruti Pandey (33) was inconsolable as the incident was unexpected and Pandey was the sole bread earner of the family.

Shruti is worried about her children’s future. She has not passed her matriculate exam and the only job that she will be able to get is that of a domestic help or she many not be able to get a job. Pandey’s mother Lilawati (64) could relate with Shruti’s grief as she lost her husband when her son and daughter were around the same age as Pandey’s children.

Lilawati said, “ I had to scrub dishes and floors to bring up my son and daughter, I don’t want Shruti to have the same fate.”

Sanjivini Bankar, Pandey’s elder sister, said, “The BMC should do something for the children who are now fatherless. They should also at least offer Shruti a peon’s job at the BMC since there is no source of income into their household.”

The family, in between sobs, fondly remembered Pandey as a loving father who would always bring back goodies for his son Arpit (1 ¹/²) and daughter Sayli (6), on his way back from work.

Adele Macdonald

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