Chandrakant Sonawane, a resident of Lokmanya Nagar in Thane, had been selling fruits at Mulund for the last 20 years. However, three to four months ago, he began facing problems as BMC authorities
A Debt-ridden, depressed fruit hawker in Thane ended his life on Saturday evening, after months of struggling to make ends meet following BMC’s action on stalls outside Mulund railway station, one of which was his. The deceased, identified as Chandrakant Sonawane, 45, is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Chandrakant, a resident of Lokmanya Nagar in Thane, had been selling fruits at Mulund for the last 20 years. However, three to four months ago, he began facing problems as BMC authorities weren’t allowing hawkers near the station.
“He was the breadwinner of the family,” said Anil, his brother, adding, “But due to BMC’s action, he was unable to sell anything for the last three to four months. As his savings had dried up, he was getting depressed and desperate. He had also suffered a heart attack, following which he had to undergo an angioplasty, which added to his financial burden.”
On Saturday, August 25, Chandrakant tried to hawk fruits near Mulund railway station, but BMC authorities took action once again, seizing their wares. Chandrakant lost fruits worth a few thousand rupees. “Chandrakant was broken on the inside; he didn’t know how to deal with this. He looked upset when the BMC action was carried out. If BMC wants to take action they can, but they should provide us with an alternative place to sell,” said Hiraman Sansare, president of the Mulund unit of the Mumbai Hawkers’ Union.
The civic body’s seizure that evening proved to be the last straw for Chandrakant, who went home after the incident and hanged himself from a ceiling fan with a dupatta, while his wife and daughters weren’t at home.
“When his elder daughter, Pranali returned from college, she found the door open. When she pushed it, she found her father hanging from the ceiling fan,” said an officer from Mulund police station.