Tamil Nadu

Newlywed woman battles for life, husband dies in forest fire

A young man who had married his childhood friend only four months ago, died of burn injuries on Monday.

His parents mourn his loss in Erode, from where a group of seven travellers made the trip. Of them, one died and one is critically injured.

In one of the most moving tragedies in the Theni forest fire, a young man who had married his childhood friend only four months ago, died of burn injuries on Monday. His wife is battling for life at the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) here after sustaining third-degree burns in the accident.

N. Vivek, 27, of Kavindapadi, Erode, who was working as a service engineer in Dubai, and R. Divya, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, P.K.R. Arts College for Women, Gobichettipalayam, were preparing to fly out to Dubai on March 23 to start a new life. The couple had come on a trekking trip to the Kurangani forest in Theni district.

Divya’s aunt, Amuthavalli, was seen crying outside the special ward at the GRH enquiring about her niece. There are two other victims in the fire by the name Divya.

Divya is the daughter of Amuthavalli’s elder sister. “It was I who arranged her marriage with Vivek after her mother rejected the inter-caste marriage proposal. She came to me pleading to help her to hold the hand of her childhood friend,” Ms. Amuthavalli said.

“Vivek had preserved with him a photograph of Divya taken in their school days, probably in Class 2. Divya is very close to me and Vivek was also a nice boy. As they both liked each other so much. I solemnised the marriage against my sister’s wish,” Ms. Amuthavalli said.

“Divya wanted to go on a tour to Indonesia. It was Vivek who suggested a domestic trip before leaving for Dubai by the end of March,” she said.

But destiny willed something else. “Divya used to be so beautiful,” sobbed Ms. Amuthavalli, after seeing her niece with 90% burns.Divya’s mother and brother have arrived at the hospital. Her family is back with her, but her husband is no more.

Grief in Erode

Meanwhile, grief gripped Vivek’s father Natarajan, 56, and mother Saraswathi, 48, in Erode.

His college-mate and friend S. Balaji said, “Vivek had informed his parents that he was going trekking. However, his mother Saraswathi was unaware of the risk involved in the trip.”

Things changed on Sunday afternoon when the family received a call from a girl, Niveda, who said they were caught in a forest fire. She asked them to inform the police and spread the message calling for help.

“The family later received the message that their son had died and Divya was battling for her life,” said Balaji.

T. Tamil Selvan, Vivek’s friend and fellow traveller, helped him plan the fateful trip. Tamil Selvan’s relatives said they had come to know through media reports that he had crossed the forest area and reached Kerala safely. “But he is no more,” they added.

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Printable version | May 21, 2020 9:01:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/newlywed-woman-battles-for-life-husband-dies-in-forest-fire/article23165647.ece

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