‘Wanted him to be high ranking officer,help family escape a life of poverty’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/wanted-him-to-be-high-ranking-officer-help-family-escape-a-life-of-poverty/

‘Wanted him to be high ranking officer,help family escape a life of poverty’

For the parents of 14-year-old Chandra Shekhar,all hopes of a better life were snuffed out with the death of their only son.

For the parents of 14-year-old Chandra Shekhar,all hopes of a better life were snuffed out with the death of their only son. Chandra Shekhar,a Class IX student at DAV School (Lahore),drowned in a rivulet near Kaimbwala village on Monday. His father,who works as labourer,wanted him to be a high ranking officer and help his family escape a life of poverty.

“He was good in studies. I never put any pressure on him. But after he went to Class IX,I thought I would start pushing him to work harder. I always hoped that he would help us lead a better life,” said Lallan Prasad,the victim’s father. Prasad has two daughters also.

Chandra Shekhar and four other boys of the area had gone to the rivulet near Kaimbwala village on Monday afternoon. According to Sachin,who accompanied him,while rest of the group played on the banks,the teenager went to bathe. The boys said that the water level was high and there was a thick layer of clay inside the rivulet which they say,made Chandra Shekhar lose his balance. When the other boys saw him drowning they waded into the water to rescue him but lost their footing as well. A fisherman who was present there and saw the boys drowning,jumped into the water and managed to save the others but Chandra Shekhar could not be found and had drowned by then.

According to Dinesh Kumar,who fished out the teenager’s body,the victim’s head and face was covered with mud; his body had not bloated like usual drowning victims. Kumar feels that the teenager’s head may have sunk into the wet clay and he could have died of suffocation. “The water level was at least 8 feet. I went deep inside the water but could not find firm ground to stand on. They made a big mistake and it cost a life,” Kumar said.

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The incident has heightened the concerns of other parents in the area. “We want the forest department to appoint some guards around the river so that accidents like this do not happen again,” said Lallan Prasad.

Chandra Shekhar’s neighbours have good things to say about him. “He was such an adorable child. He loved body building and often use to stand beside me and match his height with me. I am from Nepal but he always treated me as an elder of the family,” said Bholu Ram,a neighbour.