Families struggle to come to terms with devastating Murud tragedy

Families of students who drowned at Murud on Monday are trying to come to terms with their loss. It was their first ever picnic with friends for four of the girls 

The families of the students who drowned at Murud on Monday are trying to come to terms with their loss. It was their first ever picnic with friends for four of the girls and, understandably, they were excited. Little did they know that this picnic would also be their last.

Everyone admired her
20-year-old Farin Hussain Sayeed was a final year student and resident of Meeta Nagar in Kondhwa. A year ago, she had lost her father, Hussain (57) to a heart attack. Farin is survived by her mother and three siblings, Farana (17), Fiza (15) and Mewish (12). Farana is in Std XII, Fiza is in Std IX while Mewish is in Std XI.

Farin Hussain Sayeed
Farin Hussain Sayeed

Farin used to work as a receptionist and also take tuitions at home. She would study at night.

Farin’s mother Shakila (55), was a maid but is now bedridden due to illness. She said, “My daughter was the sole breadwinner of the family. She used to count each day to the next year, saying she would soon earn a good salary. She had promised to educate her younger siblings. She cannot leave me and go. I have lost hope in life.”

She added, “My daughter was brave and becoming a computer engineer was her dream. She was close to her father and a year back we were overwhelmed by that tragedy. Now this incident has taken place. I will never forgive God for such a brutal move.”

Faiz Khan, Farin’s neighbour said, “Farin was a pillar of strength for the entire family and this is a huge loss for them. Children in our area used to admire her for working and studying.”

Raised her like a son
20-year-old Swapnali Shivaji Salgar, was a final year student of Computer Science. She was raised like a son by her father, who plies an auto rickshaw. They hail from Usmanabad District in Tuljapur Taluka, and came to Pune three years ago as it was Swapnali’s dream to study here and become a computer engineer.

Swapnali Shivaji Salgar

“My daughter said that this was her final year and wanted to be part of this picnic. She had promised that she would not enter the sea, but I don’t know what happened. She use to tell me, ‘Baba, I want to pursue PhD. Just wait for another six months and then I will sent you by plane to roam other countries’,” said her father, Shivaji.

He added, “She was my older child. Mauli is her younger brother. Soon after completing her degree in computer science, she had planned to do a Masters in computer science and later pursue a PhD. She was the most educated girl in our house. I raised her like a boy. After I allowed her to go to the picnic, she spent the entire night before talking to me. I did not know that would be her last conversation with me.”

Shivaji claimed the college did not make arrangements for families of students to go to Alibaug. He said, “Today morning one person came to meet us from the college but showed no remorse. On our own we had gone to Murud and it took us another two hours to reach the spot. But by then my daughter’s body was before me. I stood by, a helpless father.”

They were aspiring software engineers
“I cannot digest this game of God. On the one hand he gave me two daughters and made me a father, and on the other, on the same day he took my daughters away from me,” said Muneer Ansari, the father of twins, Shafiya and Rafiya, who were final year students. Muneer said, “I was not ready to send them for the picnic, but they said they wanted to have fun and it was also their final year. I decided to let them go.”

Rafiya
Rafiya

He said of their plans, “Shafiya wanted to become software techie and Rafiya wanted to pursue Masters and become a professor.”

Shafiya
Shafiya

He said the college was responsible for the incident. Before they went on the picnic, students had to give a written NOC to the college saying they were going for the picnic on their own. When parents went to the college after the incident, they were allegedly shown the NOC and told by college representatives that their children were not forced to go on the picnic. Muneer said the college cannot make them sign on a paper and claim that they don’t have a role to play.

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