Udupi, June 24, 2016: In spite of the heavy rains, braving all odds, a sea of mourners honoured the eight children, who died in tragic accident as they were laid to rest in two different places in the area on June 23,Thursday.
A village called Hemmady was a pall of sorrow, between 2,800 to 3,000, came together as one family, who flocked to the homes of the bereaved families as well Churches, to have to tearfully and honestly pay respects to the mortal remains of the children. As a tribute to the victims and their families, all commercial establishments, schools and other activities remained stand still. Villagers in various vantage points erected flex and banners with obituary messages to the victims. It is well known that on June 23, Tuesday, eight children were killed and seven injured in a collision between an overcrowded Omni van transporting school children and a bus near Trasi in Udupi district.
Funeral service for Calista Olivera, Clarissa Olivera, daughters of Stephen and Rita Olivera; Alvita Olivera, Ancita Olivera, daughters of Alwyn and Reshma Olivera and Delwin Dais, son of Vinod and Daphne Dias were held at Immaculate Conception Church, Gangolli. Parents, grandparents, relatives and kin of children were inconsolable as the bodies were kept out side their respective home for public viewing and prayers.
The situation seemed so that even the rain Gods could not control their grief and a heavy downpour started as soon the funeral cortege started to leave the victim’s house around 10.am. It stopped when the mortal remains reached the Church.
Though funeral mass was scheduled at 11.am, it began an hour late since funeral cortege did not reach the Church as people from all walks of life on the street stopped the cortege to have a final glimpse of the children, who they would see no more on the streets. Mortal remains of all children had been brought home from mortuary on earlier.
Since Gangolli Church is under renovation and mass was held a cramped hall, mourners had to stay outside. Only parents, relatives and school children of Don Bosco School, where victims studied, were allowed inside.
In spite of heavy rains, all managed to pray for them holding umbrellas in the open ground. Each one was given opportunity to pay final homage before and after mass. The five were burried in a single grave in the church cemetery.
similar was the situation in the evening at 4 pm, three other children who died in the Omni van accident were buried in another parish after touching farewells. Rev Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi, many VIPs and offcials were present at both the funerals. It proved that children are loved today what ever it may be.
Funeral of the 3 children, Nikhitha D’Silva, Ananya D’Silva, daughters of Lloyd and Marina D’Silva; Royston Lobo, son of Vinod and Shanthi Lobo was held at St Francis Church in Tallur at 4.pm.
"These flowers that bloomed in the garden are plucked by their master, who planted and watered them. Though it has pained the plants but master has an authority to pluck and use them," said the priest in the homily during the mass.