VIJAYAWADA:The drowning of an 8-year-old boy has exposed the negligence of the staff and lack of facilities at the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation-managed swimming pool at Gymkhana Grounds here.
In the Gymkhana Grounds, there are three swimming pools - the first one to impart swimming lessons to the children, the second to coach the youth and adults and the third to conduct swimming competitions.
Everyday, around 70 children come to learn swimming in the pool meant for them, whereas it can accommodate only 35 to 40 children at a time. In the summer season, more than 100 children attend the morning and evening training sessions.
According to the officials, the VMC appointed just one coach for each pool (20 to 25 meters long) and a supervisor to monitor them.
On Friday, when the mishap occurred claiming the life of little Manish, the pool was overcrowded with 60 children and there was only one coach E Ravi Kiran.
For all the children, there is only one rope provided for every three feet, five feet, 10 feet and 14 feet distance in the pool and no tubes are provided for the beginners for their safety. Moreover, there are no proper life-saving equipment, which is said to be one of the reasons for the death of Manish.
The drowning of Manish in the VMC swimming pool is said to have scared the parents of children who have already joined the swimming classes as well as those wanting to join them.
“How can the coaches and pool supervisors be so irresponsible, while training the children? Due to lack of swimming pools in the city, we are approaching the one maintained by the VMC, but there seems to be no safety for our kids. I don’t want to send my son for training here anymore,” said P Asha, mother of five-year-old P Sashank, who joined the training classes two months back. The sentiment was echoed by several other parents.