Two children from Adelaide orphaned in India car accident have returned home

Group of happy children welcoming their friends at the airport while rugged up

Two children who survived a car accident in India that killed their parents have reached their home in Adelaide.

Hembardhar “Hems” Peddagamalla and his wife Rama Bathula were killed when their taxi crashed near Hyderabad in April.

Their children Bhawna, 9, and Palwith, 6, survived the accident and were recovering from their injuries at a hospital in India.

On Wednesday night, there was loud applause from the gate of the Adelaide airport as the two children arrived.

Members of the Telugu Association of South Australia, an Indian community were waiting for gifts for the children.

A man and a woman with a boy and a girl in Indian dress
Hembardhar “Hems” Peddagamalla and his wife Ram Bathula with their children Bhavana and Palwith.,gofundme,

The children were accompanied by Sam and Mary Kaladari who would now become their full-time guardians.

Mr. Kaladari, who was a close friend of the parents, said that when he came to India to see the children, he needed only one thing.

“The first thing little said to me was I wanted to go home today – he said that 15 times,” said Mr. Kaladari.

An Indian boy in a yellow jacket smiling at an elderly woman presenting a teddy
6-year-old Palwith is being welcomed home in Adelaide. ,ABC Adelaide: Ethan Ricks ,

Kaladari believes that with the support of the local community they will be able to give the best possible life to the children.

“We cannot bring their parents back,” said Mr. Kaladari.

Indian man smiling and hugging another man
Sam and Maryam Kaladari will now become full-time parents of the children.,ABC Adelaide: Ethan Ricks ,
A man and a woman in a car surrounded by roses
A notice for a memorial to the couple.,Facebook: Telugu Association of South Australia,

Mr Kaladari said Palwith was missing his father that day, describing him as a “nice man” and “he worked so hard”.

Adelaide GP Sudir Talari had come to India to inform the children about the death of their parents.

“I’ve given the bad news to my patients, but the most painful thing was to tell the kids that their parents are no more,” said Dr. Talari.

Dr Talari said that he could not believe that the children would be able to come home so soon.

“We all thought it might take months for the babies to arrive, but it’s a miracle,” he said.

“We thought there would be a lot of legal issues.”

Girl smiling while hiding flowers and teddy bears in a crowded room with other little girls
The spirit was overwhelmed by the number of gifts she had received. ,ABC Adelaide: Ethan Ricks ,

Dr Talari also thanked the Australian High Commission for swiftly tracking his return.

A GoFundMe page has raised more than $245,000 to pay for the funerals of Mr. Peddagamalla and Ms. Bathula, their mortgage and the medical expenses of the children.

A direct debit has also been set up by the Telugu Association to provide continuous support to the children and their new parents.

The family doctor said, “The power of the community has been proved here and we are all taking that responsibility now.”

Two children standing with welcome signs, one pink, one blue
Members of the Indian community of Adelaide welcomed the children. ,ABC Adelaide: Ethan Ricks ,