Sterlite also ended Snowlin's ambition and life

Violent protests erupted in Tuticorin on May 22 as locals took to the streets demanding closure of a copper factory of the Vedanta group over pollution concerns, leading to police firing. ANI via Reuters/File photo

The Ill-effects of Sterlite Copper and the proposed expansion plans have been a point of discussion at the 47-year-old Vanitha's household in Thoothukudi since March this year.

Vanitha's 17-year-old daughter, Snowlin, was an active participant in the discussion after she was deeply moved by the videos shared by the anti-Sterlite protesters on how the bad effluent practices of the Vedanta-owned firm has wrecked the lives of many people who live near the copper smelting plant.

For the family, the protest march from Our Lady of Snows Basilica (Pani Maya Madha Kovil in Tamil) was an opportunity to express sympathy with the anti-Sterlite movement and Vanitha set out with Snowlin, her daughter-in-law Miranda and her grandchildren.

They went as a group, but only Vanitha and Miranda returned home.

Snowlin, who once dreamt of making it big as a lawyer, is now dead and waiting to be buried in a nearby cemetery.

The teenager was shot in the mouth, the family says. Her body is still at the Thoothukudi government hospital.

She was always outspoken and would never fear anyone.

"That's why I took Snowlin and Miranda to the protests. And I never thought my daughter would come home in a box. She wanted to pursue law and we had planned to get her a seat in a law college in Tirunelveli. What do I do now?" an inconsolable Vanitha told DH.

The family lives in a modern accommodation in one of the bylanes of Sahayapuram, close to the harbour.

Vanitha, who sells idlis and dosas in the mornings and evenings to eke out a living, said Snowlin had marched ahead of her as she was holding her grandchildren.

The mother was under the impression that Snowlin had moved to safety as she marched ahead holding a flag.

"My son came to the site and brought me home. Suddenly he began hitting his head on the wall and that is when I came to know she was no more," Vanitha said, as Miranda tried to console her mother-in-law.

Always socially conscious and against discrimination of people on economic lines, Snowlin used to speak against inequality and was interested in pursuing law to fight for the underprivileged.

I lost my daughter for Sterlite. Her soul will rest in peace only when Sterlite Copper is completely shut down, Vanitha said.

Snowlin's brother Godwin said his sister had participated in almost all protest rallies organised against Sterlite since March.

She was deeply disturbed by first-person accounts that many people were diagnosed with cancer. From then, she was quite active and now she has laid down her life for the cause, Godwin said.

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Sterlite also ended Snowlin's ambition and life

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