Students of a government school in Kerala's Wayanad district took out a protest march on Friday demanding stern action against their teachers over the death of a 10-year-old girl after being bitten by a snake inside her classroom.
Raising slogans and holding placards, the students in their uniforms, took out the march through Sulthan Bathery town and converged in front of the government vocational higher secondary school in Wayanad district. S Shehala, a fifth standard student, died after she was bitten by a snake inside her classroom on Wednesday. "We want justice for Shehala. Stern action should betaken against the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), the teachers who refused to rush the student to hospital and the doctors who refused to treat her," a student said.
A boy student, with a plastic snake wrapped around his neck, said there is not even a first aid box in the school where there are snakes slithering everywhere on the play ground and in classrooms. There are snake pits in many places in the school compound, he said.
Basic facilities like clean toilets are not available at the vocational higher secondary school, some others said.
Meanwhile, Wayanad District Sessions Judge A Harris visited the school this morning and saw the sorry state of the school and its premises and said it was unfortunate. "We are taking the situation seriously," he told reporters.
District Child Welfare Committee (CWC) President K Aravindakshan said based on newspaper reports on the death of the student, CWC had on their own registered a case.
A detailed report has been sought from the Deputy Director of the Education department and District Medical Officer on the lapses on the part of school and hospitals,where the child was taken.
Meanwhile, the government has suspended a casualty medical officer of the Bathery taluk hospital for not administering anti-venom to the child.
Shehala Sherin was taken to hospital over an hour after the incident at around 3 p.m on Wednesday, her fellow students had alleged.
Though her parents rushed her to four hospitals where no anti-venom was administered and they were told to take the child to the Kozhikode Medical College hospital, which is about 90 km from Sulthan Bathery.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the incident was unfortunate and assured strong action against those responsible for the lapse in saving the child's life.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who represents Wayanad in parliament, wrote to Mr Vijayan, saying the school's "crumbling infrastructure" needed urgent attention of the state government.
After a preliminary probe, a teacher, Shijil, was suspended for alleged lapse. Kerala Human Rights Commission and Child Rights Protection Commission have registered separate cases.