Fiddling with a plastic bottle, six-year-old Chandini recalls the wall collapse that instantly killed two children. One of them was her brother Bhupendra. “We heard a loud noise and rushed outside… I tried to find my brother but couldn’t. I gave up and walked back home,” said Chandini.
On Monday, the boundary wall of KM Public School in Salarpur gave way, killing two students and injuring five. Bhupendra’s mother, Meera, said: “He was a very innocent child… I left for work at 7 am without saying goodbye. He got dressed, ate his breakfast and left for school. But he did not come back.”
Bhupendra’s father, a vegetable vendor, said, “The school has a policy that if we send two children, the third child’s fee is waived… We have no idea if they have requisite permission or not.”
The father of Vivek, the other child who died in the collapse, said: “By the time I reached the school, the ambulance had taken Vivek to the hospital. I couldn’t even see him the last time. The school authorities are to be blamed. It is their fault.”
While the administration report on the legalities of construction is pending, villagers have alleged irregularities. “The school is situated at a much lower platform .. The wall that collapsed was also made of sand. It was already weak,” alleged a resident.