Published: 16th November 2019
Should our kids be consumed by the earth? A big fat ‘RIP’ doesn’t solve the problem of abandoned borewells
The administration typically reacts by decreeing that such quarry ponds should be fenced, and abandoned bore-wells securely capped to avoid future accidents. But where are those?
A two-year-old boy who fell into an abandoned bore-well in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruchirappalli on October 25 was declared dead four days later. Sujith Wilson’s body had decomposed inside the bore-well. A rescue operation that involved digging a parallel tunnel to get to the toddler was called off soon after the body was found.
Sujith was playing near the abandoned bore-well when he fell inside it. Authorities had earlier said that Sujith was trapped at a depth of 26 feet. Attempts to pull him up using a rope are believed to have caused him to fall further below, to a depth of 88 feet. Thousands of people followed the rescue operation closely, including politicians and actors. Many have alleged that a ‘trial and error’ approach was used by the state government.
I have been tracking bore-well accidents of late, starting with Prince, the son of daily wage labourers from a Haryana village, who fell into an abandoned bore-well while playing with other children on July 20, 2006. He was rescued after nearly 50 hours. ‘Thank God’ was all that his weeping parents could say as they lifted their son in their arms. In many other cases, the parents were not so lucky. A sixth standard student, Abishek, who was fishing in an unfenced red stone quarry in Moodbidri Taluk of Dakshina Kannada District, fell into the quarry and died on October 25, 2019. He was the son of Ravi and Girija.
In another tragic incident, a young woman and her three-year-old child died after accidentally falling into a pond that was formed by an abandoned stone quarry near Udupi on December 17, 2018. The deceased were Chandrika (28) and her daughter Likhita (3). And potential victims could include well-placed adventurous/impetuous readers of Edex — especially those who have an inclination for fishing!
The reader’s reaction to such news is generally, ‘It was an accident — RIP’. When it comes to the poor, it is always ‘RIP’. These were accidents waiting to happen! It was clearly a case of criminal negligence on the part of the quarry owners and abandoned bore-well diggers. The administration typically reacts by decreeing that such quarry ponds should be fenced, and abandoned bore-wells securely capped to avoid future accidents. Where were the fences and capped bore-wells in these aforementioned cases? What happened to the cases that were registered in the past, and what will happen to the cases that will be booked in the above instances? A big fat ‘RIP’. It will end with that. The life of the poor seems so cheap!