Mahi, the five-year-old girl stuck in a 70-feet borewell at Khaow village near Gurgaon for 85 hours, was declared dead today by hospital authorities. She was pulled out around 1:30pm and rushed to the ESI hospital in Manesar.
Soon after doctors in the hospital checked her, District Magistrate P C Meena confirmed that Mahi did not survive the brutal conditions inside the borewell. Doctors say prima facie it appeared that Mahi had died within a few hours of the fall. She had fallen into the borewell on June 20, just a day after her fifth birthday.
Her distraught parents blamed the administration saying the first police team came only after one and half hours after she fell in and that too with no equipment.
After several attempts to reach her had failed, a team of the Army reached the child early today morning and she was expected to be out soon after. But this turned into hours. With every passing hour, doctors on the site were worried as they said a child that age would not survive without water and food for so long. The tiny size of the borewell prevented authorities from sending food and water down to her even though they were pumping in oxygen.
Through the last four days, teams from the Army, Police, National Security Guards, Gurgaon civic authorities, Gurgaon Metro Rail and even Reliance Industries were involved in pulling her out in an operation marred with several roadblocks.
Army officials said that even though they had dug a parallel shaft, the connecting tunnel to reach her, was filled with rocks which had to manually broken as using machines would have injured her or caused a cave in.
Gurgaon Metro Rail Corporation which brought in a machine used to bore holes in the ground to erect Metro rail pillars, had to cautiously use it because of the fragility of the terrain.
Reliance Industries too sent its 'ground penetrating radar' to the spot. It was this machine that zeroed in on her exact location. They had said that even though the machine located Mahi they were unable to detect any movement. The doctors then, were hoping that she was just unconscious.
The police say the contractor who is now missing, dug the borewell illegally and left it uncovered. Open borewells are not unusual in India. In July 2006, five-year-old Prince fell into a borewell 60 feet below the ground in Haryana's Kurukshetra. He was lucky to survive and was rescued after a 48-hour operation. In October 2008, two- year-old Sonu fell into a 150-feet borewell . After 98 hours, he was brought out dead. Then in May 2011, 18-month-old Om Santosh Devre fell into a 70-feet borewell in an agricultural field in Nashik. The next day, the boy was brought out, dead. These just some of cases of innocent children falling into open death traps, but clearly no lessons have been learnt.