RAJAHMUNDRY: Vittanala Lovaraju from Vijayarajapuram in Prattipadu mandal of East Godavari district completed his graduation and was preparing for the police recruitment. Soon after landing a job in the department, he wanted to provide a comfortable life for his parents and help his younger sister complete her studies.
But, little did he know that he would not be able to fulfill these dreams, when he enrolled himself as an agricultural labour, to support his poor family and gather money to pay his examination fee. The 22-year-old youngster was one among the 16 labourers, who were buried alive in the fly ash when a lorry they were travelling in overturned near Gandepalli in the district in the wee hours of Monday.
“He wanted to become a sub-inspector of police and was preparing for the exams while working in the agricultural fields. He was also paying for my studies, as he believed that education can uplift us from poverty,” recalled V Bhavani, sister of Lovaraju. Now that he is no more, Bhavani lamented, she has to look after her elderly parents.
The poverty has forced many other youngsters like Lovaraju to discontinue their studies and take up labour work. Eighteen-year-old E Veerababu from Srungavaram village was the youngest and brightest among his family members. Despite being a blue-eyed boy for his parents, he understood the financial condition of his family and volunteered to work in the agricultural fields.
“My family did not want him to work and tried to stop him from migrating in search of labour work. He promised to return with pockets full of money. But, we are now left with just money (compensation from the government),” lamented his brother E Ramu.
Kadimi Suraiah (55) of VJ Puram lost his only son Suribabu (22) in the ghastly mishap. All his promises to marry off his younger sister and provide medical treatment to his elderly parents will now remain unfulfilled forever. Suraiah is clueless, as his age does not permit him to work anymore and his only son, who is the sole bread-winner of family, is no more.
G Lakshmi from the same village faces similar problem following the demise of her husband Satyanarayana in the accident. With no money to feed their two children, Lakshmi is now at the crossroads. She wants to work, but does not know where to go.
While the families of the deceased are unable to digest the loss of their loved ones, the survivors are yet to recover from the shock of the ghastly mishap.
Devara Naga, who sustained minor injuries during the accident, recalled the nightmare saying, “We fell asleep after crossing Kalaparru tollgate, but woke up to a loud sound and found ourselves falling off the lorry. Thankfully, I escaped with minor injuries and helped others.”