After more than a month in hospital after a devastating car accident killed their parents in India, two children from Adelaide have been brought home.
At the end of April, Bhavagna, 9, and Palvith, 6, had traveled to India with their parents Hemambaradhar “Hems” Peddagamalla and Rama Batthula after the recent loss of their grandfather. On the way to the airport, their taxi crashed into a wall near Suryapet, Telangana, killing both parents.
The children spent the next few weeks receiving medical attention and had no idea what had happened.
“On the advice of the authorities, we only told them the news a few days ago, before they left Telangana. Until then they thought their parents were in a hospital in Australia,” said family friend Dr Sridhar Nannapaneni. indian link. “It’s understandable that they are emotionally drained, but they are now at home where they can grieve properly.”
Since the car crash, nearly $250,000 has been raised by the Telegu Association of South Australia (TASA) for children’s medical expenses, parents’ funeral expenses, medical care and reimbursement of family mortgage.
But more importantly, with the children being English-speaking with only brief visits to India over the years and aging grandparents in Telangana who would struggle to care for them, the community rallied together to find a way to bring back Bhavagna and Palvith in Flagstaff. Hill, Adelaide.
“It was important for them to go back to their usual life, to their school, to their friends, to the people here that they grew up with,” explained Dr Neni.
Dozens of the community waited to greet the children, still in plaster, outside Adelaide Airport yesterday. Despite fears of a lengthy legal battle ahead, their return has been expedited by the Australian High Commission as well as the Indian Embassy and pleas from South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas.
Dr Neni added: “We are really grateful to everyone for helping us. From financial and logistical support to offering children their homes, the community has come together strongly to help.
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On their flight home, Bhavagna and Palvit were accompanied by Adelaide couple Miriam and Sam Kaladari who have been appointed as carers for the time being. Going forward, meetings will be held with the Department of Child Protection and TASA members to determine the way forward.
“The children’s grandparents in India have accepted the current arrangement,” Dr Neni confirmed. “They don’t have their visas yet, but they are planning to visit Adelaide soon. Having lost their son and daughter-in-law, they too are going through a difficult time.
This weekend, concerned members of the Telegu Association of South Australia (TASA) will also meet to propose a clear plan for the funds raised. According to Dr. Neni, it will be used to cover school fees and pay for day-to-day expenses in the children’s lives, such as dance lessons and doctor’s fees.
“Sam and Miriam have three children of their own, so we understand if they need any help. About 7-8 families from the community have come forward to help out, whether it’s organizing game dates or contribute to certain expenses.
With 4-8 weeks of physical therapy still ahead, not to mention dealing with the grief of losing their parents, at least Bhavagna and Palvith can take comfort in having such a strong support system within their Flagstaff Hill community.
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