independent

Friday 25 April 2014

Community mourns friendly, family-loving woman

SHE was a devout Hindu – yet even the local Catholic priest became aware of Savita Halappanavar in the weeks before her tragic death.

A classical Indian dancer, she had volunteered her services to teach children for a multi-cultural event in the Galway suburb of Roscam, where she had put down firm roots.

The beautiful, energetic Indian woman with the smiling eyes and her husband Praveen had planned on seeking Irish citizenship.

The couple had arrived in Galway from their native India in 2008 soon after their marriage. And they planned to be here forever – to raise their family and to grow old together in this country that was so far from the home they first knew.

"They loved living here," a friend said.

"I never saw her sad," another added. "Savita was always very bubbly – always smiling. She was a good friend. She was a very good person." She was a very good organiser and a "normal" person who liked normal things, he revealed.

As friends grappled to come to terms with her wholly unexpected and shocking death, they told how Savita (31) was at a very happy time in her life.

She had found out that she was expecting a girl and as the only girl in her own family, with two older brothers, she was over the moon at the prospect of a little daughter.

Things were going well for the couple.

Praveen had solid work as an engineer at Boston Scientific and Savita had achieved her dental exams, which meant her qualifications were recognised in Ireland, but had recently given up her work in a dental practice since finding out that she was pregnant.

"She was in a very good moment of her life – she was settling down," a close friend and dental associate said.

"This was what she wanted – she loved children and she always loved treating young patients. She had a good way with them."

Savita had "transformed" the Diwali celebrations for the Galway community, said friend Sunil Koppuri.

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