Adelaide children whose parents died in Indian car crash to return home to live with family friends

Two children who survived a car crash in India that killed their parents will return home to Adelaide to live with family friends.

Key points:

  • An Adelaide couple in India for a funeral died in a car crash earlier this month
  • Their children were also in the crash but survived
  • They are returning to Adelaide on Wednesday to live with family friends

Hemambaradhar “Hems” Peddagamalla and his wife Rama Batthula were killed when their taxi crashed near Hyderabad in early May, on their way to the funeral of Ms Batthula’s father.

Their children, Bhavagna, 9, and Palvith, 6, who are recovering from their injuries, were told the heartbreaking news by family friend and Adelaide GP Sudeer Talari.

Dr Talari said the children initially thought their parents were being treated at a different hospital.

“I’ve broken so many bad news to my patients, but this was the most traumatic thing to tell the kids that their mum and dad are not there anymore,” Dr Talari said.

Telugu Association of South Australia president Sivaji Pathuri said the children “cried for the whole day” when they were told of their parents’ deaths.

“[They said], ‘Whenever I’m sleeping, I go to my dad, ‘Where do I go?’ and we don’t have any answers.”

Family friends to look after children

The children’s grandparents, who are aged in their 70s and do not have passports, were unable to care for the children in India.

“Both families have unanimously agreed the best place for the kids to be is Australia … [for] their mental, physical wellbeing and for their education as well because they’ve got lots of memories, friends and families here,” Dr Talari said.

A memorial notice for the couple.(Facebook: Telugu Association of South Australia)

Close family friends Sam and Miriam Kaladari, who will take on full guardianship of the children, have flown from Adelaide to bring the children home.

The children are travelling back from India and will arrive in Adelaide on Wednesday evening.

Dr Talari said his family and the Telugu community would support the Kaladaris, who also have three older children.

A GoFundMe page has raised more than $245,000 to pay for Mr Peddagamalla and Ms Batthula’s funeral, their mortgage and the children’s medical expenses.

Mr Pathuri said the children were close to the Kaladari family and were pleased to return home to Adelaide.

“[The couple] have tonnes of hope and tonnes of strength for the children,” Mr Pathuri said.

Dr Talari thanked the Australian High Commission in India for facilitating the children’s flights.

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