Last journey for 19 students, life-long mourning for 6 villages
Loud wails of grieving relatives broke the morning silence of this village, nearly six kilometres from Bodeli where bus mishap in Narmada canal claimed the lives of 19 children of the village.
Many of the 19 students, including 16 girls, had left the village early in the morning for their last examination of this academic year. But by late afternoon, it was their last journey that began from the precincts of the village temple as parents, siblings, cousins and other relatives wept inconsolably, trying hard to come to terms with stark realities of life.
Dilip Baria (15), who lost his sister Raksha in the bus tragedy, wiped his tears every now and then while looking up to the pictures of gods and goddesses adorning the walls of the family’s house. This was just one of the scenario in many houses of this village on Wednesday afternoon as the bodies were being prepared for the last journey to the nearby Orsang river bank for cremation.
Similar was the scene at other houses in the village which bore the maximum brunt of the tragedy. Tragically, of the 16 girls killed, as many as eleven were the only child of the family.
Purushottam Baria, who lost daughter Manisha in the tragedy, said she had left early in the morning but only her body returned for cremation. Another village few kilometres away, Patnapith was mourning for its eight children killed in the accident. The bus was ferrying children mainly from six villages including Bamroli and Patnapith. The other villages whose children used the early morning bus are Gharola, Salpura, Samdhi and Chaarola.