Death by snakebite


It is something more than a cruel tragedy that nine-year-old Shehla Sherin died of snakebite in her classroom at Sulthan Bathery in Kerala (“Kerala girl dies after snake bites her in class,” Nov. 22). More so, when one comes to know the level of apathy and delay on the part of the school authorities in rushing her to hospital for treatment. The erring staff of school, who remained negligent about the girl’s deteriorating health condition, and the officials at the hospital, who failed to administer the girl anti-venom in time, should be duly punished. Thousands of schools across the country are in a dilapidated condition. School managements, which otherwise spend lavishly on functions and that too by collecting funds from pupils, need not wait for the government’s assistance to carry out minor repairs like closing fissures in walls, holes in floors, replacing leaky roofs, etc., Even Parent-Teacher Associations can spring wonders. Should we need state intervention even to plug holes horribly serving as snake-shelters?

E. Sethuramalingam,

Kollam, Kerala

It is quite shameful that some of the the hospitals in Kerala are still being run without the basic amenities for handling emergency cases. The poor and hapless girl of Sulthan Batheri has become the scapegoat of the ignorance and sluggishness of the staff of the school and the doctors of the government taluk hospital. Teaching is a noble profession and teachers are undoubtedly the second parents of the students next to their biological parents. Kerala is known for its exemplary contribution towards education and health. Unfortunately, recently, things have been going from bad to worse. This should be recognised and rectified. This gruesome incident reminds us the need for officials to take regular inspections of school premises.

Prabhakaran Vallath,

Vatakara, Kerala

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 10:16:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/death-by-snakebite/article30055730.ece

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