RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM/TIRUPATI: Twelve-year-old Hasini was dancing to a popular number on the boat - Royal Vasishta - while going to Papi Kondalu on Sunday, and her parents Durgam Subrahmanyam and Durgam Madhulatha were cheering her when the tragedy struck.
The boat tilted to one side and Hasini and her parents slipped into the river. Subrahmanyam made frantic efforts to save his wife and daughter by pushing them out of the water before he went down. “My husband was trying to push me and my daughter out of the water. Hasini was holding my leg, but within minutes, she lost the grip and slipped into the water. I could not save her,” said Madhulatha, crying inconsolably before Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who came to console her at the Government General Hospital, Rajamahendravaram.
Subrahmanyam, a 45-year-old businessman from Tirupati and her family, had not planned the trip to Papi Kondalu. They came to Rajamahendravaram two days ago to immerse the ashes of his father Durgam Gangisetty, who passed away five months ago, in the Godavari. After performing the ritual, they decided to go to Papi Kondalu on the boat as it was Sunday.
Madhulatha, since she was rescued by the tribals at Katchulur and shifted to the Area Hospital in Rampachodavaram, has been crying non-stop recalling the tragedy. The fate of her husband and daughter was not known yet.
“A few minutes of joy turned into a lifetime of tragedy for me. What should I do now? For whose sake should I live?” lamented the grieving woman. Her mother and relatives, who rushed to Rajamahendravaram GGH, where she was shifted on Sunday night from Rampachodavaram, tried to console her.
While speaking to the CM, she recalled how her husband Subrahmanyam used to cite Jagan as an example of how a person should not lose hope during difficult times.
P Aswanth Narayan, a retired banker and a neighbour of Madhulatha in Radhe Shyam Apartments located near Vinayak Sagar in Akarampalle, Tirupati, recalled that both husband and wife used to go to Srikalahasti to take care of their petrol bunk there. “Madhulatha’s family was nice and helpful. They were sociable and participate in various programmes organised by the residents of the apartment,” he said.
Another neighbor, Seshadri, recalling the couple as affable and helpful, described Hasini as a bright kid who won the dance competition conducted during Ganesh Chathurhi. He described the incident as sad and unfortunate. A pall of gloom descended on Akarampalle after the tragic news broke.
Spring Dale Public School, where Hasini is a class VII student, organised a meeting to pray for her safe return. “Hasini is a bright and brilliant kid. She informed us about her planned trip to Rajamahendravarm along with her parents to immerse the ashes of her grandfather in Godavari,” said KR Anuradha, school principal.
Sathwik, a classmate of Hasini, said she is the best in drawing, arts as well as in studies. “We were all planning to go to zoological park on Saturday. She said she could not join them as she was going with her parents to Rajamahendravaram. They say she drowned in the river. It is very sad,” he said.
Several of her classmates expressed the hope that Hasini who excels in studies and extra-curricular activities will come home safely.