Tragedy
The school’s staff members did not realise that Shiv Rachith was missing, until his mother came to pick him at 11.30 am.

Tragedy unfolded at a Hyderabad playschool on the eve of Children’s Day, when a 3-year-old boy died due to the alleged negligence of staff members. Shiv Rachith drowned to death in the playschool on Tuesday, after he fell into a sump tank left open.

According to the police, the staff at Bachpan Playschool in Shivapuri Colony, Malkajgiri had not covered up a sump tank on the premises after it had been cleaned. However, it is not clear when or how the child – Shiva Rachith – fell in, as the staff members did not even realise he was missing till the school closed for the day. Rachith’s yellow school bag was found lying next to the open sump.

“The incident occurred due to the total negligence of the school management who didn’t notice that Rachith was missing until his mom came to pick him up at 11.30am. Along with his mom, the school staff frantically searched for the boy, and later found him in the sump,” said Malkajgiri Mandal Education Officer R Srinivas, who visited the school.

Srinivas said that action would be initiated against the school for the negligence that claimed the life of a child.

“This is really an unfortunate incident. The blame is totally on the school staff. We will definitely take action against them,” he said

The Malkajgiri police said that a case has been registered under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC, and investigations have been launched.

However, other possibilities besides an accidental death have not yet been ruled out.

Speaking to TNM Malkajgiri Sub Inspector, V Srinivas Reddy, said "We are investigating if the boy accidentally fell into the uncovered sump or if something else happened."

Meanwhile, Rachith’s parents and relatives of protested at the school, demanding strict action against the school management.

This is not the first time a child has died in a playschool in Hyderabad. In 2015, a four-year-old girl was killed after she got stuck in an elevator at Sri Chaitanya Star Kids School in Dilsukhnagar.

That incident prompted authorities to begin inspections of playschools, and to require playschools to register themselves with the Education Department, after evaluation for safety standards, said Srinivas.