A man who was among the civilian heroes of the Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks, Harishchandra Shrivardhankar, was found lying down and helpless on a Mumbai pavement during the lockdown.
Shrivardhankar, a former government employee who is in his 60s, was found on a footpath in Saat Rasta by shopkeeper Dean D’Souza who, along with some friends, helped reunite the 26/11 hero with his family.
Shrivardhankar was among those who testified in court, identifying Kasab as one of the attackers. According to multiple news reports, he also fought back against the terrorists, attacking the since-deceased Abu Ismail. According to a Rediff report, he kneed the terrorist in his groin and struck him with his bag after encountering him in Cama hospital.
Shrivardhankar suffered multiple injuries from the scuffle including two bullet-wounds in his back and a gash in his neck. According to the Indian Express, he was unable to speak for 22 days after the attack.
When D’Souza found him during the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, Shrivardhankar was barely able to speak or even eat, mumbling only a few words which allowed the good Samaritan to identify him and with the help of the police, reunite him with his family in Mumbai. According to news reports, his whereabouts had been unknown to his family for two months, who had filed a missing person’s report.
Shrivardhankar’s brother was located in Mahalaxmi, and then his son, who stays in Kalyan. Timothy Gaikwad, a documentary filmmaker and school friend of D’Souza who runs the NGO IMCares that helps the destitute, helped give the 26/11 hero a bath, a shave and some food.
According to some news reports, Shrivardhankar’s family was unwilling to take him back. However, THE WEEK reached out to Gaikwad for clarification on Shrivardhankar’s status, who confirmed that Shrivardhankar was reunited with his son, who received special permission from the Mumbai police to travel to the city and bring him back.
“It is quite possible that due to the lockdown, his son found it difficult looking for his missing father. He had also lodged a missing [person’s] complaint. And he promptly came to take his family after Agripada Police station arranged for his pass to travel from Kalyan to Mumbai. On the way back, after reuniting with his father, he stopped over at Mr. Dean D’Souza’s house and thanked him,” Gaikwad told THE WEEK.
“His family did not throw him out of the house as claimed by some reports,” Gaikwad clarified.