A year since the death of eight-year-old S. Sruthi, not much has changed to ensure the safety of schoolchildren, with several accidents involving vehicles owned or hired by schools continuing to occur.

Sruthi was a class II student at Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Indira Nagar, Selaiyur. While returning home on July 25, 2012, she fell through a gaping hole in the floor of the school bus in which she was travelling and died. A year later, her parents R. Sethumadhavan and Priya vividly remember every moment of that fateful day.

“She has never left us. She is very much alive,” said Ms. Priya, speaking at their residence in PTC Quarters in Varadharajapuram, near Tambaram, on Wednesday evening.

That day last year started out as usual for the couple and their daughter. “She would usually wake up at 6 a.m. That day she woke up an hour earlier. She specifically asked me to sing ‘kanney kalai maaney’ and ‘gori thera gaon bada pyaara,’ both songs sung by K.J. Yesudas, and I sang as she was lying on my lap. I then dropped her at the pick-up point for the school bus. After she got in, she told me she had left her lunchbox behind at home,” recalled Mr. Sethumadhavan, speaking at their residence in PTC Quarters in Varadharajapuram, near Tambaram. 

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