NGO asks child rights body to take action on bore well deaths

October 13th, 2008 - 10:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) Asking “how many more children will die” after falling into open bore wells before the authorities decide to act, an NGO, Uday Foundation, Monday filed a complaint with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to probe the latest death — of two-year-old Sonu in Agra. The complaint was sent to the NCPCR chairperson Shantha Sinha.

Two-year-old Sonu’s body was recovered by rescue workers Monday, more than 96 hours after he fell into an open bore well while playing near his home in a village near Agra on Thursday.

“The unfortunate demise of little Sonu is a clear case of gross negligence, and the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India and its undertaking, Central Ground Water Board, which is responsible for guidelines and construction of bore wells should be held accountable for this recent unfortunate incident,” the complaint said.

“The lack of safety measures at bore well sites in India is proving repeatedly hazardous to human lives. How many more children will die before we learn to monitor or seal exposed bore wells,” the complaint said.

Earlier this year, a small boy, Suraj, died after falling into the shaft of an open and unguarded bore well in Jaipur. In July 2006, Prince underwent a similar ordeal in Kurukshetra, but was saved.

Advesh of Jhansi and Sarika of Bikaner died in January this year in similar accidents.

“It is a shocking state of affairs that children fall into bore wells at regular intervals all across the country and authorities in the concerned regions of accidents take no action to prevent it or bring the people responsible to book,” said Tulika Verma of Uday Foundation.

“If an accident happens, both the contractor and the owner should be imprisoned and all costs of rescue operations and compensation should be recovered from them,” the NGO further requested.

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