October 26, 2020

Shubhangi Tambwekar on her late daughter Arundhati

Mums and Stories is bringing this story as it has the connect for all of us to introspect and review how we want to lead our lives. The parents lost their young daughter who was in her early twenties a few years ago, due to a horrible road accident. This has shattered them but to keep their daughter’s memory alive through a foundation they set up in bringing awareness on road safety.

In a heart wrenching post on social media, Shubangi Tambwekar had shared on how much she misses her daughter every single day. We reached out to Shubhangi who shared this emotional story on her daughter Arundhati.

Shubhangi shares “I am the first born of doctor parents. I grew up in a closely-knit joint family with cousins. I married my best friend, my classmate from school when we were both in our early twenties and had Arundhati in our mid twenties.

Aru, as she is fondly known as was the first grandchild both sides of the family. She was a quiet, bright, intelligent and lovely child. She was doted on by all …her uncles and aunts, grand parents, grand uncles and aunts and great grand parents.

Fortunately for us ..my son was born nine years after Aru was born. She insisted on having a sibling and kept asking us for a younger brother. I am grateful to her for this- She gave us courage to dream and have my son. He has been our strength and anchor in these trying times of our life. He was the person she loved most.

She was riding pillion with her fiance. They were going from their respective hostels to their departments at Christian Medical College, Vellore, where they were both doing their post graduation.  We are still not clear about the details of the accident nor do we have a closure. A truck took her under its wheels and crushed and mangled a beautiful, wonderful and ethical life. I know that the traffic in Vellore is horrible. The road that they travelled on was narrow. It should have been a one – way. But I see so many vehicles travelling on that road…trucks, buses, all kinds of vehicles.

My daughter was wearing a helmet despite riding pillion. In a city like Vellore, I have seen even riders go about without helmets. But both of them wore helmets.

The accident investigation is all botched up. This is sadly the story almost all over India, only an FIR is lodged. That’s all.

In such cases, the investigations should go on like a well oiled machinery. This will not only help punish the guilty but will bring in some fear in the citizens and force them to drive responsibly. It will also help in risk analysis and improve traffic and road condition.

Section 304 A IPC labels death due to accidents as ‘ Homicide, not culpable to murder’ investigations go on and on and on.

Victims are already traumatized with the death of their loved ones.- They have to go through additional trauma of post mortem examination etc.

I know the details of the accident only through two RTI s we filed. We are sure the case has not been properly investigated. We did not pursue the matter nor got any compensation from the truck owner/ driver or Tamil Nadu Government.

We did not want our daughters fiancé to experience further trauma. We have no closure- “it hurts”.

There is no ‘ coping’ in the loss of a child. It’s like losing your limb ..your soul. One exists -one cries every single day ..and one experiences excruciating pain on a daily basis. Let me put it this way..nobody asked us before taking away our child. She was snatched from us. You are not given a choice. Period.

We realized that our daughter’s worst fears had come true. She was always scared of accidents. We have lost friends and some distant family members in road traffic accidents. We thought this is something that happens to z’ others’ not to ‘ us’.

That is what everyone thinks till one day, the calamity knocks their door. The same thing happened to us. We realized we needed to do something to see that others don’t go through the horrendous pain we go through everyday.

We also want to keep Aru’s memory and good work alive. Hence the foundation took birth barely three and a half months after her death.”

Talking on the alarming statistics on road accidents in India, Shubhangi shares, “400 people die on our roads everyday. Sixteen people every hour- this is only about the reported cases. So many go unreported. Over 40% of accidents happen because of over speeding. Isn’t that in our hands?

Please note that children learn by observing parents. The so called ‘ educated’ people ride without helmets, jump signals, use cell phones during driving or riding. It is easy to get license in India. You just need to start the vehicle and move it forward, brake, change use clutch and park. Nobody really cares about how you do it.

Parents sit behind their underage children when they drive. What kind of message do you give your child when you do all this?

There is a lot of data in the public domain. We read about accidents everyday in the newspaper and over 95 % of accidents are entirely preventable. It is not fate-.it is negligence, overconfidence and lack of respect for human life.

As I said, Arundhati was a doctor and she was doing her post graduation in Pathology when she was snatched away from us.. I am a pathologist by profession.

My daughter was passionate about medicine and was following my footsteps..I walk alone now- but every step I take is with my daughter in my heart my mind and soul.

Do visit www.thearundhatifoundation.org.in.

There is no ‘ letting go’ of this pain..it’s not possible for parents. I can’t speak for everyone but with most parents who have lost their children. All I can say is that the pain never goes away. Also as I said earlier, we want Aru to live on in the minds of people through good deeds even if she is not physically present with us..

In our minds and hearts she lives.”

Mums and Stories thanks Shubhangi for sharing this story of her daughter with us.




4 thoughts on “Shubhangi Tambwekar on her late daughter Arundhati

  1. Having lost a brother i can relate to a mom’s pain of losing her daughter i see her in my mom too..

    the little time we have on earth, we can only TRY to live! and do some good

  2. I am extremely sorry for the loss.No words can heal a mother’s heart..I couldn’t stop crying.
    May her soul Rest in peace in Heaven. May Almighty give you courage to lead the rest of your life without Aru.She will be there somewhere watching you Ma’am.

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