HYDERABAD: The death of two students of Sri Gujarati Vidya Mandir High School while on an excursion has snowballed into a major controversy with the parents accusing the school management of negligence and the latter refusing to own up responsibility. Dharmesh Patel and Kartik Tiwari, both of Class X, had gone on an excursion to Gujarat along with 74 other students and 39 teachers on Jan 4. According to the school authorities, Kartik had died of brain fever and Dharmesh of a heart ailment.
Gayatri Tiwari, mother of Kartik, told City Express, “My son died due to their negligence. The school management had refused to talk to us until his condition turned critical.” According to her, everything was fine until Jan 11. “At around 8 pm that day, I received a call from him. He complained of severe cold. The next morning Subhash, a teacher and incharge of my son’s group, called up to inform us that Kartik had fever and that he was admitted to the Ahmedabad City Hospital,” she recalled.
Breaking into tears, she said the teacher had assured her that he was taking good care of the boys. “Later that afternoon, we received a call from Principal J Grace but she didn’t inform us that Kartik was in a critical condition,” she said.
Gayatri along with her brother J Praveen Kumar had reached Ahmedabad by afternoon on Jan 13. “By then Kartik had died. He expired at 10 a.m,” the inconsolable mother said adding that doctors told her that it was too late by the time the boy was brought to the hospital. “They (school authorities) kept on giving him medicines like Crocin, vomiting tablets and pain killers without doctor’s prescription. He died of drug overdose,” she alleged.
Much to their dismay, the school authorities also got the name of Kartik wrong which made it difficult for the family to bring the body to the city.
However, Principal J Grace denied the allegations but confirmed that two boys had died under their watchful eyes during the excursion. “Both the boys died of different causes. We have taken good care of them. Dharmesh was sent to their parents in Rajkot a day after he fell sick. Another student, Jinesh Henia, too fell ill. He was given treatment at the same hospital and was discharged. Dharmesh’s parents are residents of Rajkot, so we immediately handed over the boy to them. We informed Kartik’s parents on Jan 12 to come to Ahmedabad,” she explained.
According to her, Kartik vomited after the group had reached Virpur on January 11. “We had taken him to the Rajkot railway hospital before embarking upon our return journey and also to a nearby civil hospital. And on getting permission from doctors to continue with the journey, we had gone ahead. Kartik was almost normal, there was no temperature, he was just tired and so was given saline during the journey. Jinesh had high fever and on reaching Ahmedabad, we had taken both to the Ahmedabad city hospital. Kartik was admitted in the ICU. He died at 10 am,” she said.
Karthik was a resident of Hindinagar, Goshamahal, near Mosam Jahi market. He was the second of the three children of Suresh Tiwari and Gayatri Tiwari. No case been booked so far even though parents of Tiwari approached the police.