Andhra Pradesh

Godavari boat tragedy : Daddy gives up hope, prays for his Ramya

For the last ten days, every time a body was brought to the Rajamahendravaram hospital in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, a father would rush to check, hoping against hope that it is not his daughter. A boat with 77 passengers and crew had capsized in the swollen Godavari river on 15 September while it was on its way to the popular tourist destination of Papikondalu. Among the tourists was 24-year-old Ramya Sri.

All these days, Sudarshan prayed that he would once again see his little girl who had `Daddy’ tattooed on her wrist. Ramya Sri had playfully insisted that she wanted her father to be with her, holding her hand, forever. 

“She got `Daddy’ tattooed on her hand, insisting that I would always be the most important person in her life. Now I can never see it again,” Sudarshan said, with a lump in his throat.

When the bodies were brought in, like the one that was brought in on Tuesday, they could not be identified. The father looking for that `Daddy’ tattoo on the hand, could find nothing.

On the 11th day, Sudarshan and his wife Bhulakshmi gave up hope. While 26 passengers had survived, 38 bodies had been found till now and there seemed no hope of retrieving the others. Ramya was gone, leaving her Daddy in grief.

So the couple performed the 11th day rituals of their daughter on the banks of the Godavari, the same river that had taken in Ramya for ever. 

Sudarshan who works as an operator at a sub-station broke down as he recalled how Ramya Sri was always bright at studies and became an engineer. She got a government job as an assistant engineer in the Electricity department in the Telangana government, making her parents proud. The family hails from Mancherial in north Telangana. 

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