Shravan's father to leave for Oz

Shravan’s father Chidambar Rao and his uncle Dr Srinivas Rao will leave on Saturday. The visas were granted in the wake of widespread outrage at the increasing racial attacks on Indian students across Australia.

Chidambar Rao, a farmer from Muccherla village of  Khammam district, had sent Shravan to Melbourne 18 months ago for higher studies.

After being informed that his son was hovering between life and death after being stabbed with a screwdriver in his head by the attackers, Rao moved heaven and earth for a passport and financial help from the government to facilitate his travel.

However, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy is on a thanksgiving trip to Jerusalem, while Finance Minister K Rosaiah is in Tirupati for a similar purpose. Rao went round the ministers’ chambers in the Secretariat seeking help, but it was of no avail. Rao is being helped by his brother-in-law Srinivas Rao, a veterinary doctor, to complete the required documentation for passport and visa.

 Shravan’s mother, Pramila, is shattered at the turn of events. He was expected to return to India in four months after completing his studies. Whenever he called she would urge him to be cautious as she had heard of the killing of Telugu students in the US and other countries.

Among the three children of Pramila, Shravan, 23, alone showed interest in studies. He was encouraged by his uncle Srinivas Rao. He was doing automobile engineering diploma course at Cambridge International College in Melbourne.

He shared the two-room apartment with three other Indian students. They were partying on Sunday when a gang of four to five teenaged boys forced their way into the apartment and attacked the students, grievously injuring Shravan.

Chidambar Rao recalls that he had initially opposed his son’s Australia plans but gave in considering it would enable him to lead a comfortable life. “Now I wish I had said no,” he said.

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