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Friday, July 27, 2012

sad death of Shruthi at Mudichur - sheer negligence claimed her life

 Cinema is often interesting – there could be some illogical scenes, often they are only exaggeration of what one sees in the Society. ‘whether Cinema influences the Society, or whether it only reflects what happens in Society’ can be an unending debate !!!

One of Kamal Hassan’s all time greats would sure include ‘Indian’  [Hindusthani in Hindi; Bharatheeyudu in Telegu] - a 1996 Tamil political thriller film directed by S. Shankar and produced by A. M. Rathnam.  Kamal did dual role one of a brave soldier Senapathy from INA who wants to set the corrupt society aright by handing out punishments and the other Chandru, a small-time broker outside the RTO (Road Transport Office) who gets people to high positions by accepting bribes and by crook becomes a brake inspector.

The corrupt officer after being bribed renews Fitness for a rickety  school bus which has faulty brakes – the bus meets with a grave accident killing many children and Chandru continues to bribe the officials trying to cover up.  The father Senapathy is bent on killing Chandru as a punishment.  In the climax, after a terrific chase, there is an explosion – in the epilogue, Senapathy surfaces in a foreign land talking over phone to say that ‘there will not ever be death for Indian’. 

Sad,  Shruthi the beautiful innocent six year old girl child was seen on posters pasted on the walls of Mudichur, a suburb off Chennai.  The little girl’s death shaked the locality as thousands took part in the silent mourning procession.  The shops in the locality downed their shutters.  Sad for it was a death occasioned by sheer negligence. 

The mourners at Mudichur – photo : the times of

The unfortunate girl slipped through a hole on the floor of the school bus she was travelling and was run over by the rear wheel of the same vehicle.  Going by newspaper reports, S.Sruthi, a class II student of Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Indira Nagar in Selaiyur, Tambaram, was seated on the sixth row on the bus (TN 23 S 9952). It was 4.05 p.m. Her stop, near Manimangalam koot road on Mudichur Road, was near. Sruthi got up, but her little feet slipped into a gaping hole right under the seat, into the road below. The rear wheels of the bus ran over her, killing her instantly. Students inside the bus and other motorists raised an alarm, but it was a while before the bus driver Seeman realised what had happened, according to an eye-witness. Intercepted by motorists, the driver brought the bus to halt at Habibullah Avenue bus stop. Commuters beat up the driver and the bus' attender. A police patrol vehicle secured the duo from a quickly growing mob.

By 4.30 p.m., angry parents, residents and passing motorists had damaged the bus and deflated its tyres, before soaking a piece of cloth in petrol and setting the vehicle ablaze at. A fire tender from Tambaram reached the spot about 30 minutes later and put out the fire, but the bus was gutted by then. The accident brought traffic to a grinding halt on the stretch.

Police sources said the vehicle had received its fitness certificate less than six months back. N. Vijayan, Correspondent of Zion Group of Schools, said they had declared a holiday on Thursday and added that the school would give compensation to the family. Mr. Vijayan said the bus was taken on contract by Yogeswaran. However, an officer of the Transport Department said that the bus was registered in the school’s name.

Kancheepuram collector Hanish Chhabra came to console the family and hand over the government’s solatium of Rs 1 lakh. The people surrounded him demanding immediate action against those responsible for the incident.  The Tambaram regional transport officer, Pathapasamy, and a road inspector were suspended immediately – the two were responsible for renewing the fitness certificate of the school bus on July 9. Chief minister J Jayalalithaa condoled the death of the child and said that strict action would be taken against the authorities. The CM has announced a solatium of Rs one lakh to the girl’s family.

After the incident, there are reports that Govt.  has asked the regional transport officers (RTO), the highest transport authority in a zone, to run their eyes through every vehicle of education institutions that comes for annual fitness certificate. Reportedly only a small % of the vehicles were inspected at the time of certification.   There are rules and laws but the authorities are either not interested or do not possess enough men and will to implement.   
 The gaping hole in the bus : photo;

A day after the shocking death of a six-yearold girl, an incensed Madras high court took suo motu note of the incident and summoned the school and regional transport authorities to be present in court on Friday. Hours later, the Tamil Nadu government responded by arresting the school correspondent, the bus driver and the contract vehicle’s owner. The school education department slapped a showcause notice on the school, asking why its recognition should not be revoked, as one of the conditions for grant of recognition is that it should take responsibility for the transportation and safety of children.   The Court felt strongly for the caving in of the floor of a bus which had been clearance only a few days earlier. 

The Court has passed strictures and a few heads may roll – but sadly it was sheer negligence of everybody that claimed the life of a tender child.  On road as you drive, you see so many rickety vehicles, all are subjected to periodical inspection and pass through, they become killer vehicles – the condition of the vehicles are rank bad, and a look at those at the wheel, will kill your confidence – small, illiterate, arrogant boys who sure do not know the fundamentals of road discipline, who do not care for road rules; who care a damn for the life of others – drive vehicles rashly and negligently often abusing everyone on their way. The city roads are fast becoming most unruly, most law breaking, killer grounds with almost all – the driver, the walker, the pedestrian, the passerby – all speaking on their mobile while crossing the road, standing at public place and while driving.

Schools collect thousands as donations and this is care that they have for children.  Often school children travel by vans / autos and other contraptions run by contractors – the conditions of these vehicles are  fearsome, to say the least.

Besides the hundreds getting killed, more are maimed and become disable arising out of road accidents.  It is time extremely stringent measures are taken to make people realize the value of human lives

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
27th July 2012.


  1. Hi Sampath. I am too shaked about the incident. Though accidents occur often, Iam worried very much now a days especially to hear mishaps towards kids. This might be bcoz of being a father of two kid 4 & 1yr age. Two incidents which I can't forget is
    01) Death of Mahi in borewll at Gurgaon recently and
    02) Sruti at Mudichur.

    My condolences to their parents. Nothing cld be compensated for their loss. Its very difficult to miss our own INNOCENT little flowers.

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