4-yr-old drowns in open drain,school booked

A four-year-old boy died after he fell into an uncovered drain outside his school in Ghaziabad’s Vasundhra area on Thursday morning.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | Ghaziabad | Published: July 13, 2012 1:39 am

A four-year-old boy died after he fell into an uncovered drain outside his school in Ghaziabad’s Vasundhra area on Thursday morning. An FIR has been registered against Holy Mother Public School by the father of the child.

The district administration has also initiated an inquiry,with officials saying the school would be shut down if found guilty of negligence.

It was Ganesh Kumar’s third day in school,and authorities said he went missing around 10 am.

“I hold the school responsible for letting him out of the gate,and want strict action taken against it,” said Vinod Kumar,the boy’s father.

An official of the school,who refused to give his name,said: “He left and took his stuff with him. No one noticed him leaving. Later,we sent a teacher to look for him at his house,but he wasn’t there. We felt may be he is hiding inside the school premises. The fact that the drain is open is not our fault.”

The school has classes from nursery to Class VIII and is run out of a two-room house in Sector-16,Vasundhra.

Ganesh was enrolled in nursery at the school.

“Ganesh and his elder sister Prachi go to the school. My wife Jyoti dropped them at 9 in the morning. Around 10.30 am,a teacher came to our house in Prahladgarhi and asked if there was any other child in the family who we wanted to enrol in the school. I had left for work by then. When my wife went to pick him up at 1 pm,he was nowhere to be found. She called me and we made a call to the police,” said Vinod,who works as an electrician.

Vinod and brother Sanjay went to the school to look for Ganesh,and found him in the drain after searching for nearly two hours.

“I noticed that one of the concrete slabs,used to cover the drain outside the school,was missing. When I looked inside,I saw his belt shining against the sunlight. We fished him out immediately and rushed him to Arogya Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival,” Vinod said.

Officials of the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam said: “We have not received any intimation of any inquiry against us. The FIR is registered against the school. We had done a survey and closed all open manholes and drains. If they are opened again by the people,we cannot be held accountable.”

“The school authorities are being questioned. If a government department is found guilty of negligence,it will be booked as well,” a senior police officer said.

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