When 14-year-old Shaan left for Sherwood school in Nainital after his Diwali holidays in late October, mother Neena did not know it was the last time she was seeing her only child.
Shaan was a typical teenager. “He loved KFC food, noodles, cheese, raspberries and chocolate… He could not take these food stuff since the school didn’t allow snacks from home,” said Neena, 41, who has started referring to her son in the past tense 10 days after his death.
Shaan Prajapati, a student of Sherwood school, was brought dead by the school authorities after he was taken to Noida’s Fortis hospital. He complained of “breathing troubles” on November 13 but within a few hours his condition worsened, and by November 14 morning, he had passed away.
Alleging negligence, Neena Shrestha — who works with the World Bank in Nepal — last Friday took her case to Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who promised to take this up during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
“My boy was a responsible child. He took care of me as I am a single mother,” the grieving mother said. Sitting in her home in Ghattekulo in central part of Kathmandu, Neena hopes the Indian PM will be able to deliver a “speedy and transparent” probe into her child’s death.
“When we last spoke in October-end, Shaan told me about his career plans of becoming a chartered accountant and that he wanted to opt for Commerce in Class IX. Initially I was apprehensive but then I was quite confident about his ambitions,” said Neena, sitting with her back to a wall adorned with the boy’s photos.
“He was fond of all family members. When he would come home on vacations, he would help me with housework. Which teenager does that?” the mother said.
Neena has filed a case of negligence against the school authorities. Her complaint alleges that the school principal Amandeep Sandhu failed to ensure speedy treatment for the boy. Sandhu had denied all allegations.
The last words Neena remembers Shaan told her were: “My exams are from November 24 and I will come out with flying colours.”