TIRUPATI: Tirupati MLA Bumana Karunakara Reddy extended help to a Russian woman, who was stranded in the temple town since June due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. She got separated from her mother, who is stuck in Uttar Pradesh. Several celebrities along with politicians started helping her after learning about her ordeal which was highlighted by popular Telugu news channel Sakshi TV.
According to reports, Ester (32) along with her mother Olivia (70) landed in India on February 6 with a plan of visiting International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temples across the country.They even planned to settle down in India by starting a physiotherapy clinic here.
But both of them were stranded in the country with no job due to the COVID-19 lockdown and with very little money in hand. The duo reached Tirupati from West Bengal on June 17. They planned to visit the Tirumala temple but couldn't in view of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) decision not to allow foreigners for darshan of Lord Sri Venakteswara Swamy, as part of the COVID-19 preventive measures.
Olivia asked her daughter to stay back in Tirupati and she left for Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, with the hope of getttin some help from other Russians who visit Vrindavan. But, she failed in her attempt as she could not find any from her country there due to the COVID-19 crisis and got stuck there. Separated from mother and left with no money in hand, Ester faced severe hardships in Tirupati. She was unable to communicate her problems to the locals due to the language barrier. However, a guest house owner provided her with shelter.
Speaking to Sakshi, Ester broke down while narrating her painful story and said that she is now left with only Rs 1,000 and she would return to Russia with her mother if anyone provides financial help to them. Luckily, as soon as her travails were highlighted by Sakshi TV, help is pouring in for Ester with several people from across the country coming forward to donate money.
Tirupati MLA Bumana Karunakara Reddy responded immediately by sending immediate cash assistance to her through his personal assistant R Venkateshwar. Even Government whip and Chandragiri MLA Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy on Tuesday met her and promised to arrange for the darshan of Lord Balaji to Ester from his personal MLA quota. He expressed his willingness to send Ester along with her mother to Russia spending his own funds.
Even actor Sonu Sood enquired about Ester after stumbling on a tweet about her pitiable condition and sought her details.