Girl dies after being bit by snake inside classroom

Girl dies after being bit by snake inside classroom

Kochi: In the highly literate state of Kerala, the plight and appalling condition of classrooms was revealed when a snake wriggled out of the floor, bit 10-year-old Shehala and took her life.

The incident took place in a government school in Sulthan Bathery in Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's constituency of Wayanad in north Kerala.

The girl's life could have been saved had the teacher been more alert and rushed her to a hospital. Instead, he chose to go ahead with the class and wanted the girl's parents to take her to a hospital.

Reports indicated that Shehala, a Class 5 student, had placed her feet unknowingly on a hole in the classroom's floor that had a snake in it.

The girl did not know that a snake had bit her. But when her classmates noticed her leg turning blue around two spots that indicated a snake bite. They told their teacher that she may have been bitten by a snake. But the teachers dismissed the incident.

"We asked the teacher on the spot when this happened why she could not be taken to a doctor," one of the students told reporters.

"After almost an hour, we saw her feet turn into a blue colour. It was only after that that her father reached the school and took her to the hospital," another student told local regional channels.

A teacher has been suspended for alleged lapses and a probe has been ordered. The girl was taken to three hospitals before she was declared brought dead at the last hospital.

Reacting to the death, Rahul Gandhi dashed off a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urging the Kerala government to pay compensation to the family of the girl

"I would like to draw your attention to the untimely demise of Shehla Sherin, a Class 5 student of Sarvajana Higher Secondary School in Sulthan Bathery due to snakebite. The incident occurred when a snake hidden in the burrow of her classroom wall bit her. A promising life was tragically cut short at a place of learning.

"The absence of a conducive learning environment demoralizes students and parents alike. Given that the State of Kerala has been a pioneer in establishing quality public schools, I request the state government and the general education department to conduct an infrastructure audit of public schools in Wayanad parliamentary constituency," he said in his letter.


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