In a tragic turn of events, 35-year-old Vidyalakshmi, resident of Latheri, Vellore, died by suicide in the early hours of April 21. Vidyalakshmi was grieving the deaths of her two sons Dhanush (6) and Tejas (7) and her father Mohan (60), all of whom died just days ago in an accident at a firecracker shop in Latheri, Vellore. Vidyalakshmi is survived by her mother. Jolarpet Railway Police officials recovered Vidyalakshmiâ€™s body from the tracks, which was then sent for postmortem to the Vellore Government Hospital.
On April 18, Sunday, Mohan had taken his grandchildren Dhanush and Tejas to his firecracker shop located near the Latheri bus stop in Vellore. Just before noon, a customer had walked in asking to demonstrate a particular cracker. What happened next, according to the police, was that a spark from the cracker flew into the shop which then set off the other crackers into a massive explosion. Mohan had been running the shop for close to 30 years.
Mohan who had rushed into the shop to rescue his grandchildren was stuck inside and all three succumbed in the fire. The loud bursts brought activities to a standstill in the area following which fire and rescue services were pressed into action. After about an hour, the fire was put out and their bodies were recovered.
Vellore District Collector and superintendent of Police headed to the site on Sunday following which an inquiry was initiated. The Collector also ordered a sensitisation and awareness program for all firecracker shop owners in the district.
If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional suppport to individuals and families.
State health department's suicide helpline: 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)
Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930
Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584
Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222
Maithri: 0484 2540530
Chaithram: 0484 2361161
Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.
State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104
Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200
SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 amd and 7 pm)
Aasara offers support to inidviduals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.
24x7 Helpline: 9820466726
Click here for working helplines across India.
Also read: Fire accident at Tamil Nadu cracker shop kills owner, his two grandchildren