Tirupati: A 32-year-old Russian woman, who was stranded in this temple town and separated from her mother, who is stuck in Uttar Pradesh, has started receiving help from various sources.
Help started pouring in for Ester on Tuesday after a Telugu television channel highlighted her touching story.
Ester, along with her 70-year-old mother Olivia, had landed in India on February 6 with a plan to visit all ISKCON temples across the country. They eventually wanted to settle down in India by offering physiotherapy services to people.
However, the COVID-19 induced lockdown left them stranded in the country with no job and a little money in hand. After the relaxation of lockdown norms, the duo reached Tirupati from West Bengal on June 17.
They wanted to visit the Tirumala temple but could not do so due to the decision of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) not to allow foreigners to have ‘darshan’ given COVID-19 pandemic.
Olivia last month asked her daughter to stay back in Tirupati and left for Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. Since more Russians visit Vrindavan, she was hoping to get some help, but she did not get any assistance to the COVID situation and got stuck there.
Separated from mother and with no money in hand, Ester was facing severe hardships in Tirupati. She was not even able to communicate her problems to others because of the language problem. A guest house owner sheltered her. She broke down while narrating the hardships she and mother faced over the last four months.
“This is the first time I am taking help from anybody. We wanted to make a living by providing physiotherapy services but have landed in this situation,” said Ester.
Meanwhile, help is pouring in for Ester with public representatives and philanthropists coming forward to donate money.
Andhra Pradesh officials were gathering details about Ester and mother to help them. Tirupati MLA B. Karunakar Reddy sent Rs 10,000 to Ester and promised all help to unite her with her mother and later send them back to their country.
On the direction of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s daughter Deepa Venkat, state BJP General Secretary Bhanu Prakash Reddy met Ester and assured her of all support. He said the Russians want to stay back in India.
A travel firm assured air tickets to Ester and her mother to return to their country while an infrastructure company assisted Rs 25,000.
Actor Sonu Sood, who has been helping many people in distress, sought details of the Russian when someone through a tweet drew his attention to the problems faced by Ester.