An Adelaide family friend involved in a fatal car crash in India says the two surviving children are recovering well from surgery but have not yet been told of their parents’ death.
the main points:
- Himes Bidagamala and Rama Patola were killed in a taxi crash in India
- Their children survived, underwent surgery and are said to be in ‘good spirits’.
- But a family friend says there are no relatives left in Australia
Himbaradhar “Heems” Bidgamala and his wife Rama Pathula were killed when their taxi crashed near Hyderabad on Wednesday, on their way to the funeral of Mrs. Pathula’s father.
Their two children, Bhavna, 9, and Balvith, 6, were injured in the accident, and family friend Vijay Akinini told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning that “the children are in good medical condition.”
But he said the emotional shock had yet to emerge.
“The little boy, aged six – had the surgery a few days ago and is recovering very well, the nine-year-old girl had surgery last night and the surgery went well and both kids are in good spirits,” said Dr. Akinini. .
“This is a very difficult part for us, even we, as adults, struggle to deal with this part…
“But we just wanted to make sure the kids recovered from their injuries before we could put them in a much more traumatic situation.”
Mr. Peddagamalla was a car salesman and Mrs. Batthula worked in the Child Protection Department.
It was a happy family, and everything was going smoothly,” said Dr. Akinini.
He said the community had been “very supportive” during the time of great grief and was now focused on doing what he could to help the children while they were in India.
But one complication, he said, is the fact that the children now “don’t have any immediate family members here in Australia”.
“All of their grandparents and extended families have all returned to their homelands in India,” said Dr. Akinini.
“We will be looking at legal aspects and other immigration issues that I cannot understand at this point.
“This is the challenge and the long path ahead of us, to try and give them the better future their parents always wanted.”
It was a tragic situation that shocked “all of us to the core,” said Peter Malinowskas, South Australia’s prime minister.
He said the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet had approached the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to try to expedite the return of children to Australia.
“The full resources of Darty and its International Engagement division with DFAT will do everything they can,” he said.
“And then of course the journey begins for this family and these beautiful children.”
Mr Malinowskas said he hoped federal authorities, including the US State Department, would use “all options provided by law in these circumstances to see a merciful response”.
“If it means providing visas for grandparents, I think so [that] It must be strictly pursued.”
DFAT has been contacted for comment.