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Mumbai: Parsis collect Rs 15 lakh in 7 days for man who lost limbs

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After WZOT and this paper appeals donors to help 46-year-old who lost his legs in a train accident, Parsis come forward to foot medical bill and get him prosthetics

Aspi Sepoy
Aspi Sepoy
The Zoroastrian community across the world has opened its heart, and purse, for Aspi Sepoy, 46, who suffered an accident on September 15 when his legs got stuck in the gutter between the train and platform. Now that funds are in place, doctors treating Sepoy have identified a German firm that will be approached to make the prosthetic limbs for him.

Udvada station in Gujarat, where the incident occurred, is known to have caused commuters injuries due to the wide gap between halting trains and the platform.

Less than a week after the World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust (WZOT) appealed to the Zoroastrian community across the world to help Sepoy, and mid-day published his story, generous donors came forward to raise Rs 15 lakh for the Navsari resident to get back on his feet. According to sources, of the Rs 15 lakh raised by WZOT, Rs 10 lakh will be used to procure a pair of prosthetic limbs.

Platform raising work on at Udvada station where the accident occurred on September 15
Platform raising work on at Udvada station where the accident occurred on September 15
Generous community
Sepoy was working as caretaker of the Zoroastrian Information Centre in Udvada since it was established in 2008. On September 15, Sepoy was dragged into the gutter between platform and train when he tried to board a moving train at Udvada station. mid-day reported the incident in its September 20 edition, highlighting how he had lost both his legs in the accident.

On the same day, Dinshaw Tamboly, chairman of WZOT, appealed to the Parsi community via a letter, asking them to come forward and donate money to cover Sepoy’s hospital bills, as well as to contribute for prosthetic legs. This, coupled with the appeal mid-day published, ensured the news travelled wide.

As of September 25, WZOT has raised around R15 lakh. Tamboly says more donations are expected over the next few days. “The Zoroastrian charity funds of Hong Kong and Macau, which are the wealthiest in the world, contributed R3 lakh for the cause, while WZOT contributed another Rs 2 lakh. The remaining sum came from individual donors. We are very fortunate to have community members respond so generously and within this short a period of time,” Tamboly told mid-day.

He said that excess funds would be used to set up a fixed deposit for Sepoy. “In the meantime, we are going to continue his salary while he is in hospital, and ensure that he has his job once he is back.”

Dinshaw Tamboli
Dinshaw Tamboli
Prosthetic leg trial soon
Top orthopaedic surgeon Dr Jamshed Bunshah, who is treating Sepoy at Parsi General Hospital and conducted an above-the-knee amputation, said that his condition is stable. “Before we operated on him, he was running a high fever, but that is under control now,” said Dr Bunshah. Sepoy is expected to be kept under observation for three weeks. Once the wound has healed, Dr Bunshah will work on the prosthetics. He shared that German firm Endolite had been approached to make the prosthetics. “They make the best prosthetics in the world. Only once Sepoy has healed, will we examine and decide which type of limb will suit him best,” he said.

Speaking about the rehabilitation process that Sepoy is undergoing, Dr Bunshaw said, “If the wound heals within the next few weeks, we will begin with general strengthening exercises. But what we have to be careful about is that the infection does not persist after the prosthetic leg fitting is done.”

Tamboly said that Sepoy has been making good progress since the amputation, and his spirit is up. “He has accepted what happened and has moved on.”

Published on Mid-Day