Dhriti Narayan was plowed down by a motorist who thought she and her family were Muslim.
As the 13-year-old seventh grader Dhriti Narayan continues to fight for her life in a coma, a GoFundMe page created to help her family cover medical costs has raised more than $600,000 by 4 pm EDT, Monday. The target was $500,000.
On April 23, Dhriti and other members of her family were crossing a road in Sunnyvale, California, on what seemed like a normal day for them. Suddenly a motorist, in an apparent hate crime, struck them down intentionally. The family was targeted because the motorist, Isaiah Peoples, thought they were Muslims.
Peoples, an Iraq war veteran, injured seven others, who were crossing the road, including Dhriti’s father Rajesh Narayan and her 9-year-old brother Prakhar.
Dhriti, who was the most seriously injured among the eight people, is in the hospital with severe trauma and head injuries.
Since the fundraising appeal went live on GoFundMe seven days ago, more than 12,360 people donated money.
The fundraiser on the site reads: “While our hearts and prayer go to Dhriti for her speedy recovery but a huge medical bill and potential rehab costs are expected for her recovery. We, friends of Dhriti’s family, who were touched by her and her family’s caring and helpful nature, are actively working with family members and other friends along with appropriate organizations and organizing this fund-raising campaign to support the family at this difficult time. The beneficiaries of this campaign will be Dhriti’s father ‘Rajesh Narayan’ and her mother.”
Peoples was arraigned in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose on Friday. He was charged on eight counts of attempted murder. His next hearing will be on May 16.
Various civil rights organizations have condemned the attack on Dhriti and have linked the attack against her to the over a rise in hate crimes since President Trump captured the White House.
“This tragic and disturbing news comes at a month when reported hate crimes have been at an all-time high,” the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) wrote in a newsletter about the incident. “In April alone, SAALT tracked 10 incidents of hate violence and 6 instances of xenophobic political rhetoric. In April alone, SAALT tracked 10 incidents of hate violence and 6 instances of xenophobic political rhetoric.”
A previous SAALT report, “Communities on Fire,” drew a direct line between the administration’s anti-Muslim agenda and the rise in hate attacks. It revealed that “of the 213 incidents of hate violence documented, one in five perpetrators invoked President Trump’s name, his administration’s policies, or his campaign slogans during attacks.”
Various other organizations such as Alliance of South Asians Taking Action, Council of American Islamic Relations-San Francisco Bay Area, South Asian Workers Center, Boston, and Sikh Family Center, among many others, have expressed their solidarity with the Narayan family.