TRIBUTES have been pouring in from loyal listeners devastated by the death of Hampshire radio presenter Kavita Nawarkhele.
Kavita and her husband Roopesh were killed while on holiday in India when the bus they were travelling in overturned after colliding with a car.
Their nine-year-old daughter Ananya is still recovering from her serious injuries in a hospital near Chandigarh, Punjab state. She is in a stable condition.
Today colleagues and listeners from Southampton’s community radio station Unity where Kavita, 37, volunteered are signing a card of condolence which will be sent to the couple’s family in India.
Mr and Mrs Nawarkhele from Bitterne were well known in Southampton’s Hindu community and Kavita was a firm favourite with those tuning into Unity.
Kavita, who joined the team two years ago, presented a show in Hindi on the station at least once a week, which featured music and topical discussions.
Unity 101 station manager Ram Kalyan Kelly said he had received a flood of tributes from his 72 volunteers and fellow listeners.
He said: “Everyone is devastated and saddened “When I first heard I couldn’t get my head around it. We’ve had outpourings of sympathy and love and prayers.
“We have announced it on air a few times and listeners feel as devastated as we are.
“She was calm collected, sincere, honest and loved life and caring for people.
“At first I remember she always used to sing just before she introduced a song.”
He said she encouraged Ananya to take up her love of music and added: “She loved her daughter and took her to lots of singing and dancing classes.
“Our heart goes out to her family in India.”
Bedside Relatives are keeping watch at Ananya’s bedside as she recovers from three operations to treat severe injuries to her ribs and below her stomach.
She is conscious but is yet to be told that her parents are dead.
As previously reported, her father Roopesh, 38, was a senior social worker at Southampton City Council, where bosses paid tribute to him by flying the flag at half mast on Tuesday. Three students, studying in Chandigarh, travelling in a car that struck the coach, also died in the crash in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Fifteen other bus passengers were injured including the bus driver, who has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He has been bailed pending further inquiries.
Rajender Upadhyaya, inspector General of Police in Chandigarh, said forensics officers are continuing to examine both vehicles.