Malwani tragedy: Widowed mom of six had sought solace in hooch
MUMBAI: The Jadhav sisters haven’t spoken much since they lost their mother in the Malwani hooch tragedy two weeks ago. Nanda Jadhav (65) was one of the few female victims of the methanol poisoning that killed 104 people. The family is painfully aware of the stares they draw in the neighbourhood.
“Our mother struggled hard to give us a better life. But after our father passed away a few years ago, she took solace in drink. We did not object as she would consume a limited quantity around dinner time,” says Manisha, the fifth of Nanda’s six daughters. Manisha and two of her unmarried sisters lived with Nanda at Malwani’s Julious Wadi. “Mother would buy inexpensive pouches of liquor from a shop run by Mamta Rathod, a bootlegger who is presently in police custody. If we’d had the slightest inkling that the brew was poisonous, we wouldn’t have let her buy it,” says another of Nanda’s daughters.
On June 17, Nanda started feeling unwell. She slept through the morning and ate very little at lunch. “She was running a fever. We called a doctor who gave her antibiotics and stayed on in the house till 11pm. But she began to feel increasingly uneasy,” said Manisha. The doctor advised them to take Nanda to Atharva Hospital. “We took mother to Oscar Hospital as they were better-equipped. She learnt that one of our acquaintances, Dattatreya Ghamre, had died from drinking the liquor. This caused her further distress,” added Manisha.
By Thursday, Nanda was non-responsive. “We were constantly by her side, hoping she would say something. However, on Saturday, she passed away,” said Manisha. “We want the strictest possible punishment for Rathod.”
The sisters said they would take comfort in the fact that their mother was proud of what they had done with their lives.