Following the untimely death of Shiva Chalapathi Raju on Oct. 29, the Piedmont Area Telugu Association in North Carolina launched a GoFundMe page to help raise funds.
PATA is hoping to raise $100,000 to pay for Raju’s funeral expenses, as well as his body’s transport to India.
Raju, according to the GoFundMe page, worked as a software engineer for Oracle in High Point, North Carolina. In the past, the Indian American had also worked for Wipro and British Petroleum in Michigan and Illinois.
“We are deeply upset about his sudden demise,” PATA wrote in the post.
Raju is survived by his wife Bobby Sowjanya, who is currently expecting their first child.
“We (PATA) have started a funeral fundraiser to help cover the cost of his funeral expenses to transport his body to India. His family was not prepared for the high cost of a funeral, and during this difficult time we are reaching out to the community for help,” the post read.
The association is asking those who are able to consider donating, as any amount will truly help. The page can be found here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/3etej8-pata.
“It would mean a lot if you could share Shiva Chalapathi Raju’s funeral fundraiser with other communities and friends,” the association added.
Raju’s remains Oct. 31 were handed over to the Hindu Funeral of America for embalming and transport to India for the final rights and his wife is going to travel at the earliest, the post noted.
At time of press, the fundraiser was just past the halfway point of its $100,000 goal, having raised $51,079.
According to IANS, because the family was in line for a Green Card, Raju's sudden death would mean that his pregnant wife was now rendered out of status and would have no choice but to travel back to India.
The Indian Green Card backlog community took to Twitter Oct. 31 and described the plight of another Green Card backlog family on the micro-blogging platform by using the hashtag #DurbinWidow and #DurbinOrphan, IANS reported.
Many Indian Americans expressed their outrage at Illinois Senator Dick Durbin's opposition to S.386. or Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act 2019, it said.
Many held him directly responsible for the uncertain fate of a number of such families, who were having to reconsider their lives due to their long wait to obtain a Green Card in the U.S., the report noted.