Tanur boat tragedy: A year on, every day is a struggle for this father and daughters

Kunnummal Jabir (Left) along with his brothers at his house on the following day of the Tanur boat accident. File Photo: Special arrangement.

Malappuram: Life hasn't been easy for Parappanangadi resident Muhammed Jabir since he lost his wife and son in the Tanur boat accident in 2023. His two daughters survived the accident. The elder daughter hasn't walked or talked since then. She had suffered damage to her brain.  
For the past year, Jabir would carry her from one hospital to another, hoping she would get better. He had received a compensation of Rs 20 lakhs for the loss of his wife and eldest son. Jabir spent everything on his daughter's treatment. Then he sold his boat; his only source of livelihood

"It is been a year since the accident happened and I have not received any amount to meet the treatment expenses of my daughters. I trusted the words of Minister Veena George and the government. The treatment has cost around Rs 21 lakh and I have stopped the treatment due to financial crisis,'' Jabir said.

Often Jabir has to rely on taxis while taking his daughter to the hospital since using public transport was not advisable.
"Apart from the treatment expense, I had to spend around Rs 2,000 daily on the travel expense. The doctors have suggested proper rehabilitation treatment for her complete recovery. Only a private hospital in Kottakkal has that facility in Malabar and  I have carried out the therapy for more than a month by spending Rs 1,400 daily only for the treatment. My daughter has recovered around 70 per cent through the treatment, however, I had to stop it in the middle due to financial crisis and her health has also deteriorated,'' Jabir added.

He has not received any financial assistance from individuals or organisations as they believe the government is bearing the treatment expense as promised by the health minister.
“People believe that I have got Rs 20 lakh as compensation and there is no need to spend any money on the treatment expense. A false promise from the state has made our life disastrous,'' Jabir added.

Local fishermen and volunteers drag the ill-fated boat ashore at Thooval Theeram in Tanur, Malappuram. Photo: PRD

Jabir has approached the state government on many occasions with a request for treatment aid. However, there was no proper response from the state yet.
"We have submitted a request to the Chief Minister through MLA to meet the treatment expense. However, they have informed us that they handed over the file to the officials of the health department to obtain a report in October last year, but there is no response from them yet,'' Shahul Hameed said.
Jabir's younger daughter has almost recovered from the accident though, she suffers from bouts of headaches.

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