Sanjana’s father says that he hasn’t told his wife about her condition because “she won’t be able to take it”.
The atmosphere at the Kamineni Hospital in Hyderabad’s LB Nagar is depressing. Security guards posted near the ICU where five-year-old Sanjana is being treated, ensure that the curious crowd is kept away. Outside, media persons gather awaiting any updates about Sanjana’s health.
Sanjana is battling for her life after she and her mother were hit by a car allegedly driven by a drunk software engineer in Peddamberpet in Hayathnagar. Sanjana’s older sister, Pravallika, who was also with them at the time, escaped injury.
R Anand, Sridevi’s brother, who reached the spot soon after the accident, said, “Before the accident occurred, Sridevi called and asked me pick them up from Peddamberpet. When I reached there, my sister and niece were covered in blood, lying on the road and they were surrounded by people. I immediately called 108, while I was busy talking to the ambulance people, the culprits escaped from there.”
According to reports, the police arrested the accused, software engineer B Venkata Ramana, and two of his friends travelling with him, Y Yadi Reddy and T Srinivasulu and produced them in court on Tuesday, where they were granted bail.
Describing Sanjana, Anand said that she is a bright student, and a happy soul, who played with him every Sunday when he visited her.
“Whenever she sees my car, she will say, ‘Mama! take me out for a drive.’ Now, when I see the car, I don’t even feel like driving. Almost everything reminds me of her,” Anand said.
While her mother, Sridevi, is now out of danger, Sanjana is still on ventilator support and has suffered multiple fractures on her arms and legs, as well as a serious head injury.
“My wife is still in the ICU, and doctors are saying that she will be fine soon, but we haven’t even told her what happened to Sanjana because she won’t be able to take it, said V Shivanand, Sanjana’s father.
He added, “She only knows that she was hit by the car and both her daughters are fine. It is a hard time for me but I have to pretend in front of her that Sanjana is fine.”
Even as he waits for some good news about Sanjana, Shivanand said that he is in deep pain, since doctors have said Sanjana’s chances of recovery are slim.
On Tuesday, Shivanand and his relatives reached out to Uppal MLA NVSS Prabhakar, seeking help for Sanjana’s treatment and for ensuring that action is taken against the accused.
Following their request, Prabhakar visited the hospital on Wednesday. “Immediately, I spoke to the Collector of Ranga Reddy district and the Special Secretary of the CM, Rajshekhar Reddy, to provide free treatment to both mother and daughter,” said MLA Prabhakar.
“In Ramya’s accident case, the culprits were in jail for 90 days. How can the accused in this case get bail within 24 hours? We want to know who is behind this bail, and I would also like the CM to take strict action on this case,” added the MLA.
Sanjana’s grandfather, R Narender, a retired head constable was rushed to hospital on Tuesday, after he complained of chest pain after hearing about the accident. Subsequently discharged, Narender said that the family is trying to stay strong in this situation but after hearing that bail has been granted to the accused, it is getting harder for the family to cope.
This is the second major drunk driving accident in recent times in Hyderabad. On July 1, the car in which nine-year-old Ramya was returning home from her first day at school was hit by a car driven by an allegedly drunk engineering student. Ramya died after spending some days on ventilator support.
Rajesh, Ramya’s paternal uncle died in the accident, while her mother Radhika and another uncle were admitted to the hospital. Her grandfather Madhusudhana Chary, also seriously injured in the accident, died later.
The Times of India reported that when he heard of Sanjana’s accident, Ramya’s father P Venkata Ramana visited the hospital to console Sanjana’s family members. Talking to the media there, Venkata Ramana said that police should deal with drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents sternly. He also reportedly said that although more than 90 days had passed since Ramya’s accident, a chargesheet was yet to be filed.