Where youngsters dice with death

The drowning of a 12-year-old in a public pond in south Eroor had an air of inevitability considering the number of lives claimed by that particular waterbody every year owing to the misplaced adventurism of ignorant youngsters.

The latest tragedy comes hardly a year after another teenager from Udayamperoor had drowned in the pond on March 13 last year. Like in the latest incident, he had also come with a friend and ventured into the water to swim and on both occasions, the friends on the banks were left helpless spectators and emotionally scarred forever.

The pond was one of the 15 waterbodies where the Thripunithura Fire and Rescue Services had put up warning boards a couple of years ago against swimming though it now remains overturned, probably by some young visitors.

“At least one death is reported from there every year and last year the victim had entered the water in spite of that warning board. Often the victims are teenagers from other places and they ignore explicit warnings by local residents,” said Shaji K, Station Officer, Thripunithura Fire and Rescue Services.

Five drownings were reported from the Thripunithura fire station limits last year alone and except for two fishing-related deaths, all three were reported in ponds with warning boards. That the station does not have a diving team makes the rescue efforts that much hard.

Rakesh Pai, CPI(M) local committee secretary and convener of the development committee of ward 41 of Thripunithura Municipality in which the pond is located, said that youngsters turning up in groups to swim is a common sight.

“The pond, though alongside the road, is flanked by a cemetery on one side and a temple on the other leaving it mostly deserted, especially during afternoon hours. We try to send back youngsters whenever we notice them and often many of them don’t take it well and they even return with an even bigger group to threaten and abuse us. It is also a late-night hideout for youngsters using drugs,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2021 11:20:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/where-youngsters-dice-with-death/article33639343.ece

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