Grieving parents in India long for dead body of son

 

A fatal crash on December 21, 2022, in Wairarapa, took 26-year-old Vishal Anand away from this world (Photo Supplied)

Road crash in Wairarapa takes away Vishal Anand (26)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, December 27, 2022

The grieving parents of a 26-year-old man who died in a road accident last week are anxious to get his body back in Vadodara (Baroda), Gujarat, India to perform the last rites.

Vishal Anand died as his car crashed with another vehicle Ponatahi Road near Carterton in Wairarapa on December 21, 2022.

About the incident

The spot is stated to be ‘notorious’ for crashes and fatal accidents.

The driver of the second car received serious injuries and was transported to hospital by helicopter as emergency services were called to attend.

The Police have confirmed that there were no other passengers involved.

Wairarapa Times reported that the winding rural road connecting Martinborough and Carterton was closed to traffic for several hours, while the Police established a crime scene and the Serious Crash Unit investigated the scene of the accident.

“Witnesses to the crash reportedly administered first aid while awaiting the arrival of emergency services. The crash, which happened in heavy rain, left both cars significantly damaged, with one car leaving the road completely,” the publication said.

Parents devastated

Vishal’s father Manoj Kumar Rajak told Indian Newslink that he and his wife Monika are devastated and that their only desire now is to see the body of their son and cremate him.

“We were looking forward to Vishal settling down in life and raising a family. Since our other son (Keshav Priya Das) has renounced his social life and family and joined Hare Krishna Mandir in Ahmedabad, Vishal was our only hope. I have taken a loan of Rs 11.9 lakhs (about $23,000) for the higher education of Vishal in New Zealand. In addition, I have other loans totalling Rs 49.5 lakhs (about $95,000). We are a very modest family. I hope that the Indian High Commission in New Zealand will help us by paying for the rehabilitation of my son’s body,” he said.

Mr Rajak said that he served in the Indian Air Force (technical division) for 13 years and took voluntary retirement. Thereafter, he joined the Bank of Baroda where he is currently employed at the Central Transactional Monetary Unit in Baroda, Gujarat.

Soon after receiving the notification of the crash, family friend Satpal Mahida gathered Sachin Paul and Saurabh Nautiyal, friends and fellow boarders of Vishal to help the family.

Sachin told us that as well as contacting the Police, he got in touch with Mukesh Ghiya, Head of Chancery and Second Secretary at the Indian High Commission in Wellington.

“I contacted him on December 22, 2022, the day after the accident. Mr Ghiya was very understanding and offered all possible assistance and informed us of the procedures to follow, one of which was a proper authority from Vishal’s father along with his financial status. We are complying with the requirements. Meanwhile, Vishal’s body was released by the Coroner today (December 27, 2022) and sent to the Funeral Home where it is being preserved prior to transportation to India,” he said.

Following our long conversation, Mr Rajak is preparing letters and documents to be sent to the High Commission in Wellington. He is also seeking the possible support of the Bank of Baroda in India and the Bank of Baroda (New Zealand) Limited in Auckland.

“Vishal celebrated his 26th birthday on September 4, 2022. I never imagined that he would leave us so soon. We were hoping to meet him next year; now we await his dead body,” Mr Rajak said.

A dream that crashed

According to Sachin, following the completion of his education in India, Vishal Anand arrived in New Zealand in February 2020 and joined the Ara Institute of Canterbury in Christchurch and completed a course in IT Networking the same year.

“In December 2020, he worked for First Security Company at Ara Institute of Technology and later joined Spark as a Service Desk Analyst. In November 2022, he joined the South Wairarapa District Council to fill a leave vacancy. I understand that he was promised full-time employment after he completed the current assignment. I feel terrible every time I speak to his inconsolable father. None of us thought that we will lose Vishal. He was a very energetic, good-natured and family-oriented young man,” he said.

Joining the efforts of Sachin and his friends is fellow Gujarati Mrudang Patel who owns a convenience store in Carterton. He has been engaging with the Police, the Indian High Commission and Mr Rajak since the incident and offering assistance.

“I have also rallied the support of the members of the Wairarapa Indian Association. We are not related to Vishal, in fact, we did not even know him but as a fellow human being and as a fellow Indian, we feel for his family. He had a good life ahead of him. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.

Sachin and his friends have set up Givealittle Page, which has thus far received $15,481. More money is needed for his family,” he said.

As we are getting ready to publish this report, we heard from Mr Rajak, saying that he has sent all the necessary documents to the Indian High Commission in Wellington for scrutiny.

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