VELLORE: A 12-year-old student was bitten by a venomous snake when she went to answer nature's call in the washroom of her school in Gudiyatham's Olakasi on Monday morning. While the Class 7 student was administered an anti-venom injection and is currently recovering, the issue was raised with the Adi Dravidar Welfare Community, which also runs the school.
The student was identified as Poovika, the daughter of Siva Gynanam, a wage worker from Alampattarai. According to sources, the incident took place at Government ADW High School during school hours, when she went to use the restroom with two other students around 9 am.
While the two students waited outside, Poovika entered the toilet. Moments later, Poovika's piercing scream alerted the students and teachers, who rushed to her aid. A crying Poovika walked out with a snakebite and was taken to the Gudiyatham Government Hospital.
The doctor confirmed the snakebite and administered her an anti-venom medication. She is currently under 24-hour observation.
Mayakrishnan, the school's headmaster, said that one side of the school faced the village, while the other is surrounded by the forest. Even though the washrooms are shielded from the forest by a portion of the compound wall, he attributed the snake's entry into the campus to another part of the wall that was damaged by the construction of a small dam six months ago.
"This could have allowed the snake to enter the campus. Moreover, the current height of the compound wall is insufficient. I have also requested the concerned authority to raise its height," Mayakrishnan said, noting that this was the first such case.
Speaking to the Chief Educational Officer of Vellore, she told TNIE, "We will be raising a request with the Adi Dravidar Welfare Community to increase the height of the wall surrounding the school." She also assured that necessary action will be taken.