Chennai, Oct 29: Two-year-old Sujith Wilson is not the only child to have met with a tragic end after falling into an abandoned borewell as at least 10 other children had died in a similar manner in Tamil Nadu over the past 15 years.
The toddler's death brought to the fore the lack of awareness on sealing unused borewells and public apathy towards taking safety measures.
Unexplicably, April 2014 saw repeat incidents of innocent children becoming victims of uncovered borewells in the state.
In September 2013, a six-year old girl child died after falling into a borewell in Pulavanpadi village in Tiruvannamalai District.
A three-year-old girl, R Madhumita, got stuck at about 30 feet of a 500-feet borewell at her father's farm at Pallagaseri village near Villupuram in April 2014.
She fell into the borewell - covered with a polythene sack - when she stepped on it accidentally while playing.
After a 19-hour long struggle, she was rescued alive by multiple teams working in tandem,but later died in a hospital.
Days after this mishap, a four-year-old boyHarshan fell into a borewell, also located in a farm at Kuthalapuri in Tirunelveli district.
Rescuers battled for more than five hours and brought the child out alive.
A day after the successful rescue,an 18-month old toddler fell into an unused borewell at Kidampalayam village, about 50 km from Tiruvannamalai.
D Sujith was playing near a farm along with some family members when he fell into it.
Stuck at about 47 feet in the 200 feet borewell, his body was taken out after 24-hours of rescue efforts.
Sujith's fall into the borewell was the third such mishap in April 2014 in Tamil Nadu. While Harshan was saved, Madhumita and Sujith were not lucky enough.
It was a "borewell robot",an indigenous device developed by a Madurai-based social worker, that saved Harshan.
In an interview to PTI, social worker M Manigandan had said that the trigger for developing the device was his son's accidental fall into a borewell in 2003 and the painful rescue efforts.
In the past about 15 years, at least 13 children have fallen into unused borewells in Tamil Nadu alone and only three of them were rescued alive.
The rescued include Harshan (2014), a three-year-old boy in 2012 at Thali in Krishnagiri district and another boy in Dindigul district in 2004.
Several such mishaps have occurred in other parts of the country as well, including neighbouring Karnataka and as recently as in June this year, when a child fell a victim in Punjab.
Two-year-old Fatehvir Singh fell into a cloth covered borewell in a farm while playing at Bhagwanpura village. The borewell was covered with a cloth on which the boy had accidentally stepped on it.
His mother desperately tried to save him, but to no avail.
Unsuccessful efforts to rescue him safely went on for about 110 hours and eventually the boy's body was pulled out of the 150-feet deep unused bore well.
As early as 2010, following several incidents of children falling into unused borewells, the Supreme Court had framed guidelines to prevent children from falling into unused borewells.
Let the Truth be known. If you read VB and like VB, please be a VB Supporter and Help us deliver the Truth to one and all.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the Centre to set up a portal within 24 hours for dissemination of real time information on the coronavirus pandemic to counter the panic being spread through fake news.
The top court, which observed that panic will destroy more lives than the virus, asked the Centre to get trained counsellors and community leaders of all faiths to calm down the migrants, who are kept in shelter homes across the country.
It also asked the Centre to ensure that migration is stopped and to take care of food, shelter, nourishment and medical needs of the people and also to follow up of cases of the virus, also called COVID-19.
The Centre told the apex court that the suggestion to sprinkle water and chemicals on migrants to sanitise them does not work scientifically and is not the right way.
The top court, which refused to restrain the High Courts from taking up the issue of migrants, said they may monitor the issue more closely.
It however asked the Centre to tell the government lawyers to inform the high courts about the orders passed by the apex court.
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao, which took up two PILs on the issue of migration through video conference, asked the Centre to look into the letter petitions filed by Kerala MP from Kasaragod constituency Rajmohan Unnithan and one filed by a MP from West Bengal on the issues related to Coronavirus.
The bench asked the Centre to ensure that duties of managing the shelter homes, where migrants are being kept, are entrusted to volunteers and not to the police and there should not be any use of force or intimidation.
It asked the government that there must be adequate provisions of drinking water, food, beds and medicines in these shelters.