Sudiksha Bhati wanted to help rural children access education, says father of US student killed in mishap

NOIDA Published: Aug 13, 2020, 07:12 AM(IST)

Sudiksha Bhati (Photo courtesy: Facebook) Photograph:( Facebook )

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Police had said the woman's brother did not mention anything about harassment at the time of the incident.

The flight of Sudiksha Bhati's dreams crashed even before taking off, according to her father, who said his 20-year-old daughter wanted to help rural children access education.

He also expressed anguish over no Uttar Pradesh government representative having reached out to the family even two days after the young woman, who was pursuing graduation in a US college, was killed in a road accident here.

"I was hopeful that this government would be concerned, but it is not," said Jitendra Bhati (46), the victim's father.

Sudiksha, who hailed from Deri Scanar village in Gautam Buddh Nagar's Dadri, died on Monday in a road crash in adjoining Bulandshahr district when she was riding pillion on a motorcycle with her younger brother, a minor.

Her family has alleged that the accident happened because two motorcycle-borne men were following her two-wheeler and harassing her.

Police, however, had said the woman's brother did not mention anything about harassment at the time of the incident.

Bhati said Sudiksha, the eldest of his six children, paved her own way to the US for higher studies and knew well about the hardships faced by children in villages in terms of access to education.

She wanted to become an enabler for those children, he said.

"She would tell us that there are organisations in the US which work on such issues, and was planning to begin her own organisation from her village to help children access education by helping them with books, stationary, tuitions, career guidance," he told PTI on the phone.

"She wanted to work for others. But the flight of her dreams has crashed even before it could take off," Bhati said.

Sudiksha was pursuing a graduation course in entrepreneurship at the Babson College, Massachusetts, US, after qualifying for a Rs 3.80-crore scholarship.

Her family members said she had come to India due to the coronavirus pandemic and was scheduled to go back to the US on August 20.

Bhati said he had an unstable income for the last several years and recalled how Sudiksha would tell him and her mother that their "time to become happy" was about to arrive.

"I worked as a driver till 2006 and did some odd jobs here and there over the next decade. I had opened a dhaba near Dhoom Manikpur village in Greater Noida around three years ago but had to shut it this year at the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak and the accompanying lockdown," he said.

"I remember she would tell her mother and me: 'Aap logon ke hasne ke din bas aane wale hain' (Your happy days are about to arrive). But I had not imagined that our days to cry and mourn her untimely loss would arrive sooner," he added.

Bhati said his family is now awaiting justice by immediate arrest of the culprits.

"No government representative has reached out to us to even ask how we are doing," he said.

Reacting to a video on social media in which the Bulandshahr district magistrate said Sudiksha's family could not be contacted over phone and personnel have been sent to her home, Bhati said, "How come you could easily reach me on the phone but not anyone from the administration?" He, however, said he got a phone call from Bulandshahr police officials on Wednesday in connection with the probe into the case.

Asked if anyone from the opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) or Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to meet him, he replied: "At least some political parties have shown concern but the government has not."

Bhati said he and his family are now getting "stressed" because of the repeat telecast of video bites of police and administration officials in Bulandshahr over his daughter's death.

"They are repeatedly hitting the point about who was riding the motorcycle in their videos. I have said it to the press that my nephew (Sudiksha's cousin brother) was riding it. But nobody is talking about how she died," he remarked.

"I have lost my daughter. Can the officers talk about that?" he said, adding, "The government officials are now giving assurances. In our country, you can give assurance to anybody walking on the road. It is the easiest thing to do."

Earlier on Wednesday, the police said they have questioned the owners of 15-20 Bullet motorcycles in connection with Sudiksha's death, to follow up with her family's claim about harassment by two bike-borne men.

The Bulandshahr Senior Superintendent of Police has constituted a three-member SIT, led by Circle Officer (city) Diksha Singh, to probe the matter.

The district police has filed an FIR against two unidentified people on the basis of a complaint by Sudiksha's father.

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