Santosh Mahaya Malkari’s extended family neither forgot nor abandoned him. Weeks after the 34-year-old constable with the
Malkari, who hailed from a tribal hamlet, Modgaon Nava Pada, in Dahanu, took ill in March and was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer, following which he went on leave. The treatment drained his meagre savings; he had to even dig into his
“He used to call us every month when the salary got credited into his bank account. We knew of his illness and his poor financial condition,” said constable Kirit Dhanmehere with the Borivali traffic police.
On September 16, Malkari’s condition worsened and a local doctor asked his family to rush him to a hospital in Mumbai. But before they could transfer him, he died. An autopsy attributed heart attack as the cause of death.
His sudden death left his parents, his wife and a sixyear-old son in the lurch. Avinash Sankhe, another constable, said since Malkari had joined the force after 2006, he wasn’t eligible for pension.
Moved by the family’s plight, Sankhe and constable Devalya Varkhande asked their bosses if a fundraiser could be organised. After the authorities gave the go-ahead, 73 Borivali
Dhanmehere said since the family still has many debts to settle, the traffic police personnel have sought more donations from within the ranks as well as from NGOs.