A day after 23-year-old Subhashri Ravi was crushed to death after a hoarding erected on a divider fell on her along the Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam Radial Road in Chennai, an NGO organised a candlelight vigil for the techie in Tambaram on Friday.
The vigil, which was organised by Pretty Lil Hearts, saw members of the NGO, friends of Subhashri and a few good Samaritans paying tributes to the techie. A large photograph of hers, painted with the words ‘Sorry Subhashri’, was placed at the vigil.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Subhashri’s friends remembered the techie as a fun-loving and cheerful girl. “We were classmates at SRM in Kattankulathur where we studied B.Tech. Subhashri was a fun-loving girl who used to make friends with everyone,” said Yamini Madhuranthakam, a friend of Subhashri. Yamini added that she and Subhashri used to go to the college together for four years.
Subhashri did her schooling from Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Tambaram following which she pursued B.Tech from SRM Institute of Science and Technology in Kattankulathur. The engineering graduate then joined GGC Information Services, a private database management company in Perungudi. Her friends said this was Subhashri’s first full-time job after doing several internships.
Her friends said that they learnt about the techie’s death after coming across it on news and social media. “Despite the banners having been made illegal, people still put them up. It is not just a problem which is specific to Chennai,” said Hariprasad, another classmate of Subhashri.
Sidhanathan, a batchmate of Subhashri from SRM Institute of Science and Technology, said that it was extremely sad that his friend had to lose her life in this manner.
The trio said that rather than blaming the incident on political parties, the government should step up and ensure such accidents do not repeat. They also fear that the episode does not end up as just another accident in Chennai.
Siri Keerthana, the president of Pretty Lil Hearts and a medical student from SRM Institute of Science and Technology, said that she came to know about the accident via WhatsApp. “Although I did not know Subhashri personally, I found out on Facebook that we have several mutual friends. I and the others at the NGO decided that something had to be done so we organised a candlelight vigil for her,” she said.
Siri said that the vigil had been organised after consulting with the parents of Subhashri. She added that the vigil was not a fight against the government or any political party in the state. Echoing similar views, Leo Akash Raj, the founder of the NGO, said that the vigil was not being organised to pinpoint the government but to sensitise the people that it was time to take action and voice their concerns loud.
Jahir Hussain, a businessman and activist with Arappor Iyakkam said that he came to know about the accident after coming across it in the newspapers. “It was only after my son, who is an eighth grader, asked me, ‘Who will complain against this and take action?’ that I began thinking about the incident and decided to attend the candlelight vigil for Subhashri,” said Jahir. “If we have to put an end to such incidents, we need to arrest the police officers, revenue officers and corporation officers who allowed such banners to be erected despite court orders,” Jahir adds.