Brothers stayed home as parents couldn't pay school fees

Rambabu, father of Darshan and Jagadish, will no more have the same zeal to toil day and night. He worked 24 hours a day so that he can pay the fees for the new academic year for his sons as well as clear last year’s dues.

The boys studied at the Holy Angel’s Public School at Devasandra. While Darshan was studying in class III, his brother has finished LKG.

In fact, he had discouraged the boys from going to school from the day it reopened on May 28. Hailing from Palamner in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, Rambabu worked as an auto driver, while his wife Satyavati worked as a domestic help to supplement the family’s income.

“I had to pay Rs 12,000 for each of my sons. I even had Rs 10,000 of last year's fees pending. A poor man, I could not arrange the fees in time. I could not face the principal, asking him for more time,” Rambabu said.

Rambabu, who had left home for work at 6.30 am on Wednesday, returned only by 2 am on Thursday, only to learn that his elder son was missing. He remained incommunicado throughout the day as he had left his cellphone at home.

Venkatesh, the other boy who drowned, had come to his aunt's house for summer vacations a month ago. He was the only son of Nagaraj and Nagamma, natives of a village near Srinivaspur in Kolar district who worked as coolies.

He was a class VI student in the government school at his village. But he was yet to return to the village. Venkatesh had befriended Darshan and Jagadish, his aunt’s neighbours during the vacations.

Venkatesh’s aunt Sharada and uncle Ramu had been to work early in the morning. His other uncle Chalapathi had come down from the village Wednesday morning to take him back.

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