Their “shining star” had slipped away to the skies above, a Gaigaon resident said on Monday, echoing the grief of Dr Harshad Wankhede’s family and others in the village as they prepared for the last rites of the AIIMS doctor killed in an accident near Mathura.
That the young doctor was killed while on his way to celebrate his 30th birthday deepened the gloom in the small village of Gaigaon in Maharashtra’s Akola district.
The senior resident doctor at Delhi’s premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences, who leaves behind his parents and a sister, was the pride of Gaigaon and its 5,000 people.
Joining the Wankhede family in mourning the death of the young man, who born on March 17, 1988, were other villagers in Gaigaon.
Wankhede began school at Gaigaon, about 250 km from here, and studied till Class 7 at the zila parishad school, said Vijay Mehre, a journalist from the village.
It was from these humble beginnings that he rose to become a doctor at one of India’s most renowned medical institutions and became the first from the village to complete an MBBS degree.
Wankhede was the “shining star” of the village, Mehre, who knew the doctor’s family well, told PTI.
The body of the doctor, who was killed in a road accident in the early hours of Sunday on the Yamuna Expressway near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, has been brought home for the last rites.
He was going with six colleagues from Delhi to Agra in an SUV to celebrate his birthday when their car met with a road accident around 2.30 am yesterday.
Wankhade and two other doctors died on the spot, while the other four were rushed to a private hospital in Mathura.
“Harshad was the pride of our village. He studied till Class 7 in the zilla parishad school at the village and did his matriculation from a school in Akola,” Mehre said.
Mehre had earlier written in a local daily about how the local boy became a doctor.
“Harshad and his sister were bright students. Everyone in the village knew that Harshad was the first from the place to complete an MBBS,” he said.
After completing his MBBS from the Government Medical College and Hospital in Nagpur and an MD from a medical college in Vadodara, he joined AIIMS in Delhi about seven to eight months back, Mehre said.
“Ours is a small village and everyone knew about the boy from the rural area achieving such a feat. His sudden demise at an such early age has come as a shock to all of us,” he said.
His father Bhaskar Wankhede retired from the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) in Akola and his mother is a homemaker. Both live in the village.
Harshad Wankhede’s sister, who is a engineer, got married four months back