Grieving Bengaluru couple’s foundation spreads road safety awareness

Bengaluru parents, who lost their child in a road mishap four years ago, struggle for justice while also running their foundation - named after their daughter Arundhati - to campaign for good roads. 

Published: 01st October 2018 02:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st October 2018 08:39 AM   |  A+A-

Dr Sanjay Tambwekar and Dr Shubhangi Tambwekar with their late daughter Dr Arundhati Tambwekar

Express News Service

BENGALURU: As another year goes by for my family, we face perhaps the most difficult month in our year since September 9, 2014, when our lives took a devastating turn. Our daughter Arundhati died that day in an accident on a narrow dirty road in Vellore. The question of how the accident happened is still unanswered and that has affected our lives as much as the fact of her death.

This is an excerpt from a Facebook post of a mother who found no other way of venting her grief, anger and frustration. It has been four years since Dr Sanjay Tambwekar and Dr Shubhangi Tambwekar’s daughter, Arundhati, a postgraduate student at Christian Medical College in Vellore, was killed on her way to college after coming under the wheels of a truck. Arundhati, who was pillion riding on the bike, was wearing a helmet as per safety norms.

To this day, Sanjay and Shubhangi have a sketchy idea of the details of the accident, even though the couple filed two RTIs with the government of Tamil Nadu. But like Shubhangi says, “The grief and shock is so profound that I think, like us, many victims do not have the strength — either physical or emotional — to pursue their case.”

Talking about the use of Section 304 A of the IPC, which classifies death in an accident as ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’, Shubhagi says, “Frankly, I do not know how many people are actually
punished this way. The loopholes in this allows the guilty to get away. The government machinery should function in a smooth and systematic fashion to deliver justice to victims and punish those found guilty or negligent. This should be done to ensure that there’s a sense of responsibility and accountability on the part of every driver. It is because of the lack of effective mechanisms that this country has the highest number of deaths in accidents and the least number of punishments.”

Birth of Arundhati Foundation

After the accident, the couple blamed themselves and felt like they did not do enough to protect their daughter. Shubhangi says, “We were not comfortable with her on two-wheelers given the state of traffic and roads in Vellore. We should have done something. We have since kept visiting that day every day...’ If only...’ is what we keep saying.”

After looking around for similar stories so they could find solace with others who had undergone such a loss, they found that nobody likes to talk about it.  That is when they decided not to be meek spectators and instead try and bring about awareness on road safety.

“We could not save our daughter, but maybe, if people listened to our story, they would pay more attention to this topic and their loved ones could be safe. We wanted to keep our daughter’s memory alive not just in thoughts, but deeds too. And that is how we started The Arundhati Foundation within three months of her death,” says Shubhangi.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp