THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:The most recent Kovalam tragedy which took place in July had claimed two lives, leaving the capital in shock. Three other youths, had also gone missing that fateful evening.
These five young men, all natives of Thiruvananthapuram had ventured into the rough sea, dismissing warning alerts from life guards. Days and weeks might have passed, but the family of one of the victims, basket ball referee and coach Abhishek Vani, still continue to hope for his return. Even in their wildest dreams, can they not imagine that a boy who had grown up alongside the sea and its waves, could be easily washed away and instead is safe somewhere.
The family has demanded the government to intensify the search to find the missing person. For many days after the incident, his father-in-law Ramesh Kumar P N waited ashore, night and day, at the Kovalam light-house beach, hoping that his son-in-law would come back. “ Everyone close to Abhishek knows how good a swimmer he is. He can fight the tide. We were told that there were violent undercurrents that day. We believe that he could have escaped elsewhere onto some ship or something like that. This is why we believe that a more serious search, will bring us good tidings,” said Ramesh, who is a businessman.
Ramesh’s elder daughter Vani Mookambika and Abhishek have a 10-year old daughter. The 30-year-old Abhishek was born and brought up in Veli here, and naturally the close proximity to the seaside had made him a deft swimmer right from childhood, the family said. Though reports were there that the five got into the sea for a bath, Ramesh has his own version. According to him, Abhishek did not know the other four and had gone into the water to save them, hearing their cry for help.
“He was there with a team whom he trained. That evening, they were backpacking near the seashore. Before leaving from the place, he heard the tragic cry of the youngsters calling for help from the sea and took a plunge risking himself,” said Ramesh.
Neither Ramesh nor his daughter has a permanent dwelling and both stay in rented homes at PTP Nagar here. To date, he says the basketball fraternity has been so supportive of the family through thick and thin, ever since Abhishek went missing.
“ The District Basketball Association has supported us with a sum put as long term investment for my granddaughter. By opening a Facebook page, the basketball players have raised another good amount, that is also deposited for the child,” he said. Abhishek’s wife Vani, who dropped her studies midway during B.Com is now jobless and the family now pins hope on the government to provide her a job in the Revenue department.