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Grieving husband seeks community help to defray costs


Sree Nandhni with her husband Vignesh (Photo: Supplied)

Sree Nandini Sambasivan, 36, a mother and a devoted wife, was found dead in the early hours of 22 November 2022 at her home. The cause of death is not known at the time of this release. The bereaved family is planning a funeral service in Invercargill and then will repatriate her body to India for the final rites.

Sree Nandini Sambasivan and her husband, Vignesh Suriyanaayanan were high school flames. Vignesh moved to Invercargill New Zealand in 2017 to pursue his studies here. Sree Nandini and her daughter moved to Aotearoa in 2018. “They are a very close-knit family,” said Hilda Noel Walter to Indian Newslink. Hilda is Sree Nandini and Vignesh’s friend of 5 years.

About Sree Nandini.

Sree Nandini is a Management Assistant to the Directorate Leadership at the Te Whatu Ora. “She is a Carnatic singer and very into our heritage. She is a vegetarian and I remember how initially she missed Indian food much. She wore sarees every day. She was calm and composed and was a very strong woman,” said Hilda. Hilda added that “it was just a matter of time before Sree Nandini got acquainted and became friends with the local Tamil community. She would help the community and was a support for the community.” Hilda explained how Sree Nandini faced a tremendous challenge in her life with fortitude four and a half years ago when she lost a child due to stillbirth.

On the night of the incident.

Hilda told Indian Newslink that Sree Nandini was up till about 11.30 pm chatting with her husband Vignesh and had gone to bed soon after. “When Vignesh went into their bedroom, Sree Nandini was fast asleep. At about 3.30 am, when Vignesh turned to hug her, he realized that her body was cold and stiff. He had turned on the lights and realized that she was motionless. He called the ambulance and started performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on her till the paramedics arrived (Vignesh is a social worker with Barnardos- New Zealand’s leading charity for kids and is trained in CPR.) The paramedics arrived and after attempting to revive her, pronounced her dead,” said Hilda.

Sree Nandini is survived by her husband and their 10-year-old daughter. Sree Nandini has an older brother and father in India.

Appeal for help.

The family is now appealing for financial assistance for the funeral and repatriation of Sree Nandini’s body for the final rites in India. Those who wish to support the family during these trying times may visit the Give a Little website to make your donations.

Malini Yugendran is an Indian Newslink correspondent based in Auckland.

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