‘People & Media’s Support Gave Us Strength’: Subhasri’s Kin

Ravi and Geetha talk about how gruelling days since their daughter Subhasri lost her life have been.

3 min read

Reporter: Smitha TK
Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam

It’s still unbelievable that the life of a bright young woman was brought to an abrupt end by an illegal hoarding. Subhasri’s mother looks at her daughter’s photograph – clad in a green and pink saree, smiling – and sighs.

“Every day I tell myself had she left office two minutes later or had she driven a little slower, had she taken another route... maybe I’ll be talking to her today for real.”

On 12 September, Subhasri was driving along the Pallikaranai stretch in Chennai when an illegal AIADMK hoarding fell on her, throwing her off the scooter. She was then run over by a water tanker.

It was after 15 days of people speaking out against it that former AIADMK Councillor Jayagopal, who had erected the banners, was arrested on Friday, 27 September. The Quint met Subhasri’s parents to understand how harrowing the previous few days have been for the family.


Why Isn’t the Ruling Party Promising to Stop Banner Menace?

Subhasri’s father, Ravi, questions why an incident as grave as this hasn’t prompted the ruling party to ensure that illegal hoardings are no longer erected.

“In spite of all the notifications, a few politicians who want to boost themselves erect banners... and get credit do this. But the debit is that I lost my daughter,” he said.

“In the future, another life should not be lost because of a similar incident. My daughter should be the last case.”
Ravi, Subhasri’s Father

He added that the ruling party AIDAMK’s or Jayagopal’s representatives haven’t reached out to the family thus far, even when all parties, including DMK and film stars like Kamal Haasan have taken responsibility and promised to curb the menace of illegal hoardings, going as far as to file affidavits at the Madras High Court. “Even if another incident happens, they (AIADMK) are not bothered because they are the rulers,” he said.

“Had they (AIADMK) filed an affidavit, then we can trust them. But because they aren’t filing one, I have my doubts if they could cause yet another accident.”
Ravi, Subhasri’s Father

Many had taken to social media to ask officials to boycott functions where huge hoardings have been erected and even instruct their functionaries to say no to banners.

Happy, Optimistic, Goal-Oriented, But No More

Every member of Subhasri’s family is distraught and the only thing brightening up their house are the smiling photos of the young woman all over the walls.

Subhasri was preparing to fly to Canada for her higher studies and would often tell her parents that she wanted to earn a lot of money and support them.

“She wanted to earn well, live a simple life and help a lot of people. In fact, in Zumba, she was part of the international group, so she had told she will go to Canada and do Zumba. She makes homemade products... told her products will have good demand in Canada so she was going to take it all there,” she said.

“She had planned it all out but finally the one who planned it, is no more.”
Geetha, Subhasri’s Mother

“At home we call her 'Jillu' or 'Kutty ma' affectionately. Only if we call her these names, she will even respond. When I call her Subhasri, she would tell me to call her Subha instead,” her mother laughs.

Her parents said that she was their pillar of support and was always brimming with optimism. “She would tell us everything is possible. Nothing is impossible. You should give it a try. We should not depend on anyone. We should stand on our own feet,” her father added.


Public and Media Ensured Justice

Subhasri’s parents said they have been overwhelmed by the way media has covered their story and ensured justice was served.

“The public didn't look at her as my child but as their own child. And the people who brought this issue to the forefront is media. They are the ones who even got us the CCTV footage. It's because of pressure from media that the truth of Subhasri's story has been revealed. I thank High Court, media, social media, Traffic Ramaswamy Sir,” her mother added.

The number of strangers who are calling and writing to them offering condolences and support gave them strength.

Subhasri’s last rites concluded on Friday and the family said they are proud of their daughter who ensured the culprit is arrested.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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