THE young Indian restaurant owner who was racially abused and bashed earlier this month is finding it difficult to recover.
Himanshu Goyal, 22, of Mount Pleasant, suffered multiple fractures to his jaw after being punched while closing his Bridge Mall restaurant about 9.30pm on June 7.
A teenager yesterday handed himself into Ballarat police in relation to the racially-motivated attack.
The 19-year-old was charged with recklessly causing serious injury, assault and swearing in a public place.
Eight men, believed to be in their late teens, allegedly shouted abuse at Mr Goyal and two of his staff members before one member of the group punched him in the mouth.
Almost a fortnight on, Mr Goyal still cannot open his mouth properly, has trouble talking and can not eat solids.
“I’ve been depressed for the last 10 days,” he said.
“I can’t talk to my mother in India because whenever she sees me on Skype she bursts into tears. It breaks my heart, I’m her only child.
“My Dad has to keep reassuring her that everything will be alright.”
Mr Goyal said it was challenging to return to his restaurant.
“I can’t stand in my own shop without getting scared.
“It’s affected my life so badly. I set up the business just last May, now I just feel like getting rid of it.
“I don’t know if I should get rid of it, sell it or go to India to see my mum and dad. I’m just so lost at the moment.”
Ballarat mayor John Burt condemned the attack.
“Racially-motivated incidents over the last few weeks across Australia and the world show that ignorance is not limited to Ballarat and in fact the vast majority of people have respect for all,” Cr Burt said.