Tuesday 26 September 2017

Savita's grieving family may travel here in bid to ensure justice

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

THE family of Savita Halappanavar may follow her husband back to Ireland to ensure the right action is taken over the young woman's death.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), a software engineer with Boston Scientific, plans to campaign to have regulations changed here.

Her brother, Sanjeev Yalagi (32), a software engineer, said he will travel to Ireland – if he deems it necessary – to ensure the right action is taken over his sister's death.


Mr Yalagi said he had thought about travelling to Ireland alongside his sister's husband, Praveen. However, he said the family realised there was a strong outpouring of support following his sister's death.

"Irish people, everyone is in support for justice and for changing the law. So Praveen will be going and if necessary I'll be travelling after him," he told the Irish Independent.

Mr Yalagi said there appeared to be a complete lack of clarity on the issue and the laws must be changed to ensure they are crystal clear on this matter, with no leeway for interpretation.

"There shouldn't be any case going forward. It is not humanity, everyone has a right to live," her brother said. "The law should be rigid and very much clear, what and when a doctor has to take action.

"I saw there were a couple of cases like the X Case that have already happened previously but still the Government has not taken any steps. Every step should bring pressure on them so they should realise now this kind of thing should stop."

Mr Halappanavar said he was pleased with the level of support the family have received.

"The whole nation is talking about that and every channel on the television is talking about it," her husband said. "There are people on the streets protesting outside the Irish Embassy in Delhi."

Back in Mrs Halappanavar's hometown of Belgaum, her mother Akkamahadevi and her father Andaneppa Sangappa Yalagi, have been browsing her wedding album and recalling fond moments of their life together. Friends of Mrs Halappanavar have sent some of her treasured items from her house in Galway back to India for them to keep.

Mr Yalagi told how his sister catalogued all the treasured photographs and film footage from all special family occasions – including his wedding. "I don't have my marriage photos but she has kept everything preserved," he said.

Mr Yalagi told how his parents have been left devastated by her death, with the massive international attention her death is getting bringing constant reminders for the family.

The dentist and talented classical Indian dancer rang her brother every single day, and also spoke with her father daily. Every December they returned to visit family in India.

"She was a very big gift for our family. My mother always told people that even if you don't have anything in your life having such a daughter is the biggest gift of the family," he said.


He told how his sister had opted to live in Ireland, although her husband had wanted to move to the UK for better opportunities. "She opted to pass her dentist exam in Ireland and get settled there. She found the people of Ireland were very good, very kind and very caring," he said.

Her brother told how the family believed Ireland would have more sophisticated medical treatment and many Indian people had given birth there and described it as a "better place".

However, Mr Yalagi said no one had contemplated such a scenario. "My sister had a belief it was a safe place to have a baby but it is very unfortunate that. . . her life is gone. We believe even underdeveloped countries are more safer than Ireland."

Irish Independent

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