Aishwarya Salelkar’s death is another chapter in the saga of accidents that have struck this family
COLVA: Inquire about the Salelkars at Colva and the landmark to their home is the house at the Colva roundabout after the Colva church which earlier housed the State Bank of India, Colva Branch. Ask around and the house is easy to find. But the house is locked, the gates are shut and there’s nobody at home nor at Pradeep Salelkar’s brother’s home which is next door.
Pradeep’s daughter Aishwarya died on Wednesday afternoon when an accident struck her and her father at the Verna junction where the road proceeds towards Majorda while her father, the rider of the Pulsar motorcycle is in a serious condition in hospital with his wife at his bedside, praying for his recovery and grieving the loss of her daughter.
“Pradeep was always a man to himself and hardly spoke to us. He recently took voluntary retirement from his job at the Zuari Industries to be at home so he could drop his daughter for tuitions and college. He was completely dedicated to their education,” explains Jeevan Lolyenkar, the next door neighbour who runs a hotel besides the Salelkar’s home.
Jeevan clarifies that Aishwarya was just 17-year-old. “It was usual for Aishwarya who studied in Panjim in a reputed Higher Secondary School to call her father to pick her on days that she was delayed and Pradeep as usual would travel to Panjim to pick up his daughter.”
Pradeep who suffered injuries and is battling for life in GMC has an elder daughter who’s an engineer and works for BOSCH, an MNC in Switzerland, whose arrival has delayed the funeral proceedings while the family hopes that Pradeep will recover, while the wife who’s a bank employee sits and prays besides Pradeep.
Agostinho Fernandes, another neighbour explains how accidents and tragedy have repeatedly take their toll in the Salelkar home who are originally from Sanvordem-Sanguem but reside in Colva.
Pradeep Salelkar, many years ago, lost his brother and his nephew in a similar kind of accident in a Maruti car and now Pradeep’s daughter is no more while Pradeep battles for life. Their brother Anil, a former footballer, is deeply shocked by the tragedy.
Agostinho reminds us that Pradeep who worked in Vasco earlier was very familiar with taking the Majorda road to Verna to work and was a few km from home with his daughter when tragedy struck.
He also reminds us how the coastal constituency of Colva-Benaulim hosted the same BRICS summit which was why the the speed breakers were taken off and that led to the accident.