Surrey’s Tamil community raises $25K to send remains of killed student home to India

Esther Sitha Anthony Raj Achari died after being hit by truck in Richmond in December

SURREY — Thanks to fundraising efforts of the Tamil community in Surrey and Metro Vancouver, the remains of an international student killed in a December crash have been sent home to India.

Esther Sitha Anthony Raj Achari, a student of Omni College, was struck by a Canada Post truck in Richmond on Dec. 27. She died in hospital the next day.

Almost immediately, the Tamil community created two GoFundMe pages and raised $24,295 to send Achari’s body to India to be cremated there.

Esther Sitha Anthony Raj Achari. (Photo submitted)

Surrey’s Sathiyabama Rajaratnam is a family friend.

“She came here for a future with so many hopes but she is going back to her family in a box,” Rajaratnam said.

Rajaratnam’s son, Shathesh Kuhendrerajah, said when Achari’s family in India were notified, they initially thought it was a cruel joke.

“They got the phone call and couldn’t understand what the person was saying,” Kuhendrerajah said.“They got in touch with my mother and asked her to find out what happened to Esther.”

Achari lived in Richmond but visited Surrey often to take part in church services at Elim Worship Church.

Her brother, Williamdavid Anthonyraj Achari said the family has broken down to pieces.

“They took a lot of loans to send her and sold lots of properties to send her,” Williamdavid said.

Williamdavid is currently in India to receive his sister’s remains. The family had a funeral services for Achari on Jan, 9, at Sewri Christian Cemetery in Mumbai, India.

According to 2016 census, there are 790 people who speak Tamil in Surrey and more than 3,500 people in Metro Vancouver. Seventy-four million people in the world speak Tamil, most of them in the southern parts of India and northern parts of Sri Lanka.

Nearly 200,000 people speak Tamil in Canada, with an estimated 10 per cent of them living in B.C.



yogesh.bala@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Yogesh on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey talk by a woman Oprah calls an ‘astonishingly gifted intuitive’

Canadian tour brings Carolyn Myss to Bell theatre in February

Ocean Park laboratory to relocate

Services will be held out of Peace Arch Hospital, starting March 2

OUR VIEW: Let’s hope they stall road pricing

Don’t inflict yet another fee on already financially burdened ratepayers

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Sexsmith set to suit up for Giants

Vancouver signs ninth overall pick in 2017 WHL bantam draft

Women’s March Canada Fraser Valley slated for Saturday morning

It’s a march for women’s rights and social justice for the most marginalized

Police investigate sexual assault of teen girl on Abbotsford school grounds

Incident occurred Wednesday night on elementary school grounds

Most Read