GUNTUR: Ramana, 40, who was crushed to death under the wheels of a lorry here on Friday, was the sole breadwinner of her family. The lives of her four children have turned upside down with her untimely death. Ramana, a ragpicker, was killed while trying to save her minor niece — earlier reported as her daughter — from being driven by a lorry driver.
The woman was heading to Guntur from Chilakaluripet along with her niece in a lorry. She paid Rs 100 to the driver but he demanded Rs 200 more. When the woman said she did not have the money, the driver took away her mobile phone. Seeing him trying to drive away, Ramana’s niece climbed back onto the lorry to retrieve the phone. Ramana, too, tried to board the vehicle. She, however, was left hanging by the door as the lorry moved and was caught under its wheels.
Placing food on her children’s table was a daily struggle for her. She is survived by three sons and a differently-abled daughter. After losing her husband, Koteswara Rao, nine months ago, Ramana became the sole breadwinner of the family. Kotaiah, 25, her eldest son is married and is struggling to run his own family of five. While her other children Prasad, 13, and Nagulu, 8, are attending school, Vijaya, 12, stays at home due to her health condition. After losing both their parents in such a short time, they have become helpless. They did not even have the money to perform the last rites of their mother.
Their mother’s brother, Koteswara Rao, came forward and performed Ramana’s last rites. He was heartbroken after learning about the fact that his sister sacrificed her life while saving his daughter. Speaking to TNIE, he said, ‘’If my sister had not tried to save my daughter, I could not even imagine what would have happened to my daughter. I could never pay her back”.
A daily wager, Koteswara Rao, is barely able to run his family of five and is in no condition to raise his nephews and niece, who required regular medical help, and is desperately trying to get help in any form possible. He took a loan of Rs 5,000 to perform his sister’s last rites and took her children home.
However, when Integrated Child Development Services officials visited their home and offered to shift the three children to welfare homes and provide shelter and education, Kotaiah refused. “After losing both parents, I don’t want the children to be alone with strangers and away from me. If the government provides us any financial support, I will look after them,” he said.
However, the ICDS officials opined that it would be the best for the children if they were shifted to welfare homes. Local ICDS officer Manikyarao said, “We can’t take any action without their relatives’ approval. So, I’ll try to talk to their relatives and try to convince them and encourage them to take the decision in the best interests of the children.”