Community members gather around two Adelaide children who were orphaned after a car accident that killed their parents while they were visiting India.
the main points:
- Himes Bidjamala and Rama Patola were killed in a taxi crash in India
- Their children are in the hospital
- The Telugu community in Adelaide raised nearly $200,000 to help their families
Members of the Indian community in Adelaide raised about $200,000 for the family.
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 are still hospitalized.
Mr. Peddagamalla and Mrs. Batthula, of Flagstaff Hill, were highly involved in the Telugu Society of South Australia.
He was particularly famous for singing in Telugu, while she volunteered at the association’s language school.
They have lived in Adelaide for over a decade.
Family is a big part of the local community, said Sivaji Batori, president of the Telugu Association.
“It’s so tragic — you can’t imagine it,” he said.
“He who met them once, everyone sheds a tear, and we cannot even think for three or four days.
“When we were emailing members, we couldn’t find words to describe it.
“It is very tragic and a huge loss to society.”
Huge response to fundraising efforts
He launched a GoFundMe page Thursday to help raise money for the funerals of Mr Peddagamalla and Mrs Batthula, to cover children’s medical expenses and pay off the family’s mortgage.
It had already raised $196,000 by noon today.
About 2,500 people contributed.
A doctor who is a member of the association and was already in India on his way to monitor children’s health.
Mr Bathory hopes that the children will be able to return to Adelaide and be cared for either by members of the community or by their grandparents, if they are able to move out of India to look after them.
Mr. Bathory thanked everyone who contributed to the fundraising campaign.
“Everyone has participated and we are so grateful to those who have donated so far and it wouldn’t be possible without all of these donations and all the support and community support being given in Adelaide and all over Australia.
“We are grateful for that.
“We hope to get the children home safely.”
Yesterday a memorial service was held for the couple at Lockleys Primary School – where the Telugu Society Language School is located.