Unable to pay fee, swimming champ hangs self

Saira’s father claims she was disturbed as she was unable to attend school for several days recently.  

A swimming champion’s life was cut short at the age of 16 after she allegedly committed suicide at her Ghaziabad residence on Sunday night.

While the reason behind her death remains unclear, the victim Saira’s father claimed that she was disturbed as she was unable to attend school for several days recently as he could not pay her transport fees of Rs.45,000.

“Since I did not have the money, I told her to stay at home until our situation improved. It was only a few days ago that the school allowed her to attend school,” said her father Jaideep Sirohi, not entirely sure if that drove her to kill herself.

Jyoti Gupta, principal of DPS Ghaziabad, however, refused to accept any blame for the death saying the school went “out of its way” to ensure Saira could return to the class.

“Saira was on a total scholarship. She only had to pay her transport fee which she had not submitted for the past two years. She could not attend school for only one week in December because of certain technical issues related to exemptions,” said Ms. Gupta.

The principal said an application was sought from her father seeking exemption of bus fee after which she was allowed to rejoin school on January 11. “It is unlikely that an old solved issue could have had such an impact on a strong-willed girl,” the principal said.

A Class XI student, Saira had won gold medals in 100 small and big swimming competitions and had created a unique record when she was just eight years old, her family claimed. “In September 2008, she swam continuously for 16 hours and 38 minutes and covered a distance of 38 km. She was selected to represent India at the World Aquatics Championship last year, but could not make it due to some personal reasons,” claimed her father. .

Daughter to a retired Uttar Pradesh police constable, Saira was found hanging from the grill frame of her room door around 12.30 a.m. on Monday. She used a shawl to create a knot and climbed up her heavy school bag to hang herself.

Her 11-year-old sister sleeping in the same room had woken up to drink water in the dead of night when she found Saira hanging.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 6:08:58 AM |

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