Denied use of school handpump, Dalit boy drowns in well while fetching water

A Dalit boy drowned in a well trying to fetch water after allegedly being denied of it from the school’s handpump by his teachers in Khamariakalan village in Damoh’s Tendukhera area.
Other boys from the school including victim’s brother Sevak, a student of class V, told media persons that the teachers used to prevent them from using the handpump in the school and hence, they were forced to fetch water from nearby well daily.
Several parents too accepted of having received complaints of caste discrimination from their wards.
The incident took place at Primary School in Khamariakalan in Tendukhera block on Tuesday.
Veeran, a class III student and sun of Bedilal Ahirwar, went to the handpump for having water after finishing the mid-day meal, but was allegedly turned away by teachers.
Unable to control his thirst, Veerna then reached the nearby well and used a rope to fetch water. The little boy however, lost balance and fell into the well and drowned.
Receiving the news, Tendukhera Janpad Chief Executive Officer Manish Bagri suspended three teachers apart from terminating one of the guest teachers employed at the school concerned.
“Two more teachers could be terminated once the enquiry is complete. A high level team from Damoh is reaching the village for enquiry later in the day.,” Bagri told Pradesh18.
He also added that the kids in the school confessed to him that they were discriminated with on caste lines over fetching water.
“I could not contact kid’s family as post-mortem and performance of last rites was on,” he said. Bagri was also reaching the village on Wednesday afternoon for more enquiry.
Tendukhera police station could not be contacted for the details of any case registered against the guilty teachers due to defunct phone.
Damoh collector Shriniwas Sharma also could not be reached for his comments on the matter despite repeated attempts.