Rohith Vemula’s brother Raja, an aspiring scientist, turns auto driver

Brother’s death changed his life, but he is keen on chasing his dream.

Updated - January 16, 2017 01:54 am IST

Published - January 15, 2017 11:54 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

Rohith Vemula’s brother Raja.

Rohith Vemula’s brother Raja.

The life of 26-year-old Raja Vemula, the brother of Rohith Vemula has changed after his brother’s untimely death. The post graduate from Puducherry University is now driving a goods autorickshaw between Guntur and Tenali to earn livelihood and meet additional expenses.

“Many people offered me a job, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. But if I take up the job from politicians, I will be forced to toe the line with them, which my brother hated. Now that I am on a mission to seek justice and also spearheading a movement I will try for a job later,” he said.

Mr. Raja said the need for money increased as he and his mother were involved in hectic travelling addressing rallies and meetings all over the country on the unfortunate incident (of his brother’s death). “I am not finding it difficult to work as a driver. I need to stay close to my mother and help her,” he clarified.

(Rohith, a PhD student at the University of Hyderabad committed suicide on January 17, 2016 after controversies over his Dalit activism on campus.)

Mr. Raja, who did M.Sc in Applied Geology, wanted to become a scientist and he is keen on pursuing his dream. “My brother’s death came as a bolt from the blue. It will take some time to regain semblance.”

He said that apart from Aam Aadmi Party (of Delhi CM), one more political party came forward to help but he rejected the offer. “No, I do not want to tell the name of the party,” he said.

“Before [being] Dalits, we are Indians. The government should realise it. We want equal treatment. We are not fighting for fame, money or power,” he said.

Mr. Raja said the struggle was a long-drawn one and it was something which could not be achieved in a given time frame. “Right now, we are offering support to Ambedkar Students’ Association which will be established all 13 districts of the State and it will empower Dalits about their rights and responsibilities.”

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