Seven-year-old A. Anusha, who fell into a vessel containing hot ‘sambar’ as the midday meal was being served at the Darinayakanayapalya Government primary school in Gouribidanur taluk of Chickballapur district, died early Wednesday.
Anusha was admitted to Victoria Hospital on Tuesday with 70 per cent burns. Anusha, daughter of Ashwathappa and Venkatamma, both labourers in the village, was a first standard student. Anusha’s brother, Anand, is a fourth standard student in the same school.
The Manchenahalli police, who registered a case of negligence against the school authorities, said the incident happened around 1.10 p.m. on Tuesday. The girl was leading the queue waiting for the meals to be served when she slipped and fell into the vessel amidst jostling by the students.
The other students screamed for help and managed to pull her out of the vessel. The teachers, including the headmaster, who were having their lunch inside one of the rooms in the school, rushed out and took her to the Gowribidanur town hospital, where she was referred to Victoria Hospital.
Following her death, about 100 persons, mainly students and local residents, gathered on the school campus and blamed the authorities for the girl’s death. They demanded suspension of the 11 teachers as well three persons who were involved in the midday meal scheme at the school. The headmaster of the school, Krishnappa, and the cook have already been suspended.
Local MLA, N.H. Shivashankar Reddy, announced a compensation of Rs. 50,000 to the girl’s family from the government and also assured jobs for the child’s parents. The local panchayat has offered to provide compensation to the family.
The police said the girl’s body was handed over to her parents after conducting the autopsy.
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Instruction has issued fresh guidelines to staff of government and government aided schools while serving midday meals to the students.