‘He saved money for his sister’s wedding’

In the winding lanes of Shivneri Nagar in Kondhwa Khurd, there are no memories of Ram Lalit Shukla. An old man recalled that the boy killed last year used to stay in lane no 34. The far end of lane 34 is home to five families belonging to the village of Bharatdwar in Uttar Pradesh. Shukla, one of the nine victims of Mane's horrid bus ride, used to stay there.

Shukla neighbour Dilip Kumar Pandey points out to his room which is locked and says, "Ram used to stay there. He was a soft spoken boy. He was the oldest in the family and had a sister and a brother. He had come to Pune three years ago to earn a living. We all make aluminum sliding windows and do other work using the metal. He too had mastered the work in less time."

On the fateful day, he had gone to see off some of his relatives at the Pune station. He was returning back home when he was mowed down by Mane. "In our village, there is a saying that god comes in the form of a human being after every 100 houses. There couldn't have been a better example than Ram. He was very hard working and would send his earnings home every month for his sister's wedding which is tomorrow," said Pandey.

Panday said Shukla was an avid player of harmonium and dhol and would perform during Dussehra and Shivratri celebrations. "Last year, we had collected Rs 50,000 through our sanstha that works during Dusshera and gave to his family," he added. Pandey said Shukla's family never visited the city ever since he passed away. ". They have nothing to do with this city anymore. He wanted to see his sister's wedding," he said.

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