Hindu Temple raising money to send bodies home
Roman Catholic church spearheading effort to raise funds
Members of the Hindu Temple in St. John's are helping to raise money to help pay the cost of sending the bodies of two Indian men back to their homeland for burial.
Justin Devis, 28, a nurse in St. Anthony, and Biju Antony, 39, a Roman Catholic priest in Bird Cove, were killed Jan. 2 when their car collided with a snow plow on the Northern Peninsula.
Both men had emigrated to rural Newfoundland about three years ago, and were warmly received in their new communities.
Anil Raheja, chair of the Hindu Temple in St. John's, said it is expensive to send two bodies from Newfoundland to India.
"We are looking at, I think, in the range of $15,000 for each person's body to be sent home," said Raheja.
Deaths sadden Indian community
The Roman Catholic Church has been leading the fundraising effort because both men were Catholic. But they were also Indian, and Raheja said that tugs at the heart of the local Indian community.
"Each one of us likes to have a final goodbye to our near and dear ones, and I suppose the families of these gentlemen would like the same courtesy," said Raheja.
"I think it's a good deed for all of us to do and I appeal to everybody to step forward and contribute."
The Hindu Temple members have already collected $1,000 toward the effort, and they said anyone who wants to contribute can stop by the temple to make a donation.
The bodies of Devis and Antony may be sent to Toronto later today and onward to India once the paperwork is finalized.