Deceased Andhra class 7 tribal student Sode Karthik
Deceased Andhra class 7 tribal student Sode Karthik

Tribal student in state-run school in AP dies of ill health, parents allege negligence

Sode Karthik was a Class 7 student at the Kanduluru Eklavya Residential School in East Godavari district.

A 12-year-old boy studying in the state-run Tribal Welfare Eklavya Model Residential School in Chinturu in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district died of ill-health due to alleged negligence by the management. The incident took place on October 8 and the boy’s parents, Sode Nagraju and Arjamma who belong to the Koya tribal community, have alleged that their son’s death was the result of the school management's negligence and incapability to provide medical care.

Sode Karthik, who hailed from Ramnnapalem in Chinturu, was a Class 7 student at the Kanduluru Eklavya Residential School. According to sources, he was suffering from lung-related complexities and other ailments. The parents alleged that Karthik started experiencing bodyache and swelling in the last week of September but they were informed only four days later, on September 29. The school asked the parents to take the student back home on September 30.

As there was a lack of proper roads and transport due to rains and inundation, the student was admitted at the Chinturu Area Hospital late on September 30. The school management, however, reportedly sent the staff to attend to the student two days later and asked the parents to wait for two days before shifting the boy to a hospital in Rampachodavaram on October 3.

According to Arjamma, as Bhadrachalam in Telangana was closer and easily accessible, the parents wanted to admit him in a hospital there. She alleged that the school officials refused citing technical reasons. After availing treatment in Rampachodavaram for four days, Karthik was shifted to a private hospital in Kakinada on October 6. He passed away two days later, on October 8.

“The school management and staff refused to come along with us to Bhadrachalam. Instead, they forced us to go to Rampachodavaram, which is far away,” Arjamma said. In a video statement, she said that officials had assured her that Karthik would be shifted to another hospital, but it was repeatedly delayed. She alleged negligence in arranging an ambulance and said that the family shifted him to a private hospital as no help was coming their way.

Local rights activists are seeking Rs 10 lakh compensation for the bereaved family.

TNM reached out to Akula Ramana, Project Officer of the Chinturu Integrated Tribal Development Authority (ITDA), over the alleged lapses. “We acknowledge that there are certain problems with medical infrastructure in the region. With respect to this specific incident, on being informed about the situation, we instructed officials to take necessary steps to care of the student. Unfortunately, he passed away,” he said.

“In the wake of the allegations of negligence or administrative apathy, we will conduct a detailed probe into the incident to know what transpired. There will be action against the concerned officials if lapses are found,” he added. He further stated that he would meet the family soon and write to the government seeking compensation for them from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF).

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