FROM OUR ARCHIVES: Killed airport worker’s family gets help offers

This story was first published in The Straits Times on March 20, 2012

The boys attending their father’s funeral with relatives and friends. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The boys attending their father’s funeral with relatives and friends. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Madam Pusparani holding daughter Thurgashini, with her sons (from left) Mageswaran, five, Sarveswaran (standing), nine, and Dharmaa, eight. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

THE cleaning supervisor who died after being run down by a taxi at Changi Airport was cremated in Johor Baru yesterday.

Mr Chandra Mogan, a 35-year-old Malaysian, was killed when a wildly careening taxi crashed into him outside the Budget Terminal at about 7am on Saturday.

The taxi was driven by a Chinese national who allegedly hijacked it after a disagreement with the driver. He has since been charged with voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery, and is being investigated for causing Mr Mogan's death.

Meanwhile, several people have stepped forward with offers of help for Mr Mogan's widow and four young children.

Madam Pusparani Mohan said her biggest worry was how to support the children - three sons aged nine, eight and five, and a 21/2-month-old daughter.

"We have no savings - every penny went to our children," the 32-year-old told The Straits Times yesterday.

She broke down constantly beside her husband's altar at their rented home in Taman Selasa Jaya, a town near the Causeway.

The home is sparsely furnished, but Madam Pusparani said it is filled with memories of her husband, who would talk, laugh, sing and play games with their children.

She said he would often buy toys for their children and had no bad habits.

His only weaknesses were Coca-Cola and home-cooked kecap chicken, which he last had three days before his sudden death, said Madam Pusparani's brother Magenthiran Mohan, 30, who lives with them.

Madam Pusparani, who is also a cleaning supervisor at the airport, said she earns $1,200 a month, while her husband earned $900. Her siblings have offered help, and her mother has since moved out of her home in Kedah so that she can live with Madam Pusparani and help take care of the children.

Among the 50 friends and relatives present at the wake were some of Mr Mogan's colleagues. They went to show their support for his family and give them some money they had raised among themselves.

Mr Mogan's employers, Chye Thiam Maintenance, paid for his funeral expenses and will be assisting his widow in processing his insurance claims.

"There is definitely insurance, and more than one policy. We're working on it now, and have also paid about RM14,000 (S$5,800) for his funeral expenses so far," said a spokesman for the company.

She added that a donation drive for Mr Mogan has been started by his colleagues at the airport, and the response has been overwhelming.

"He did his job well with us for the past two years and it is very unfortunate that this has happened," she said.

His direct supervisor, who wanted to be known only as Desmond, organised and attended the funeral in Johor Baru. He said he would be working to help Mr Mogan's family through their grief.

Madam Pusparani was told that she may receive between $15,000 and $25,000 in insurance money. She said she will save it for her children's education and other needs.

The couple undertook a round trip of about four hours to and from their workplace every day, and had worked in Singapore for more than a decade.
Madam Pusparani said she plans to continue working at the airport, and will return to work in a month.

"I have memories of him there, and I want to stay near them," she said.

Mr Mogan's body arrived at the home at 7pm on Sunday, and was cremated at the Johor Baru Hindu Crematorium yesterday afternoon, with his eight-year-old son Dharmaa given the task of performing the funeral rites. The ashes were then scattered on a nearby beach at Danga Bay.

While eldest son Sarveswaran appeared sad, his two younger brothers were clueless, asking when their father would be back.

The plight of the children moved many Singaporeans, who wrote to The Straits Times to offer help.

"It's such a sad case," said one man who did not want to be named. "I think everyone should help. It was such a tragic accident, and I felt compelled to give when I heard about their four children, and how they had to travel to and from Johor every day just to work."

Those who wish to donate can make cheques payable to "PUSPARANI A/P MOHAN" and mail them to The Mogan Family, c/o Changi Airport Group, Corporate Communications, PO Box 168, Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore 918146, by the end of this month.

Donors may wish to indicate their names on the back of their cheques.

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$1m gone in one year: Widow of killed airport worker is now broke

Two years ago, after her husband was killed in a freak accident while working at Changi Airport's Budget Terminal, she received nearly $1 million in insurance payouts and donations from the public. Today, that money is all gone.

Donations pour in for family of Chandra Mogan

Some Singaporeans have offered money and items to the dead airport worker's widow, lawyers have offered free legal help, while an NTUC spokesman says there could be an insurance payout.

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