Adelaide residents and well-known community members Hems and Rama Batoula travelled to India with their two children Bhavagna and Palvith to attend Rama’s father’s funeral who had passed away due to a medical condition.
Hems Batoula was a well-known leader in the Indian community and his wife worked in child protection. She also volunteered on weekends to teach children.
Last week, the couple along with their two children landed in Hyderabad on Tuesday at midnight and hired a taxi to their native village in Andhra. The taxi collided with a wall in the wee hours of Wednesday. The crash killed both the parents and left the two children severely injured who were shifted to a local hospital.
The police told Indian media that their preliminary investigation pointed to the fault of the taxi driver who was sleepy and lost control of the vehicle thus ramming into a retaining wall of a culvert.
Now, Adelaide’s Indian community is working together to bring the two children, aged nine and six, back. As both parents have dreams and aspirations for their children’s future in Australia, the local Indian community has decided to fulfil their dreams by providing a helping hand.
In their condolence message Margaret & Ron Galbraith observe:
“This was our beautiful kind neighbours here in Flagstaff Hill who we will miss every day. Hems often walked up two doors for a chat and even brought us curry to thank my husband for helping his wife in the garden and just any time to share his food. I hope and pray their children will heal in time but it’s a sad loss to them. Our condolences to all the family and the Telugu community. May they Rest In Peace.”
The Indian community and friends of the family in Adelaide believe that the two children are not safe on their own. Batoula’s family friend Neni told Nine News:
“A lot of families over here are ready to do the foster caring for them. No words can really express what the community is feeling right now. Everybody is absolutely distressed.”
The Indian-Australian community has set up a fundraiser for the children via a GoFundMe campaign.
“This fund is raised to support the funeral expenses of the parents, medical expenses of the children and support them financially to get their house back from the mortgage.”
The local Indian community have successfully raised $200,000 to support the two children. The community has even sent one representative to India to help the children.