Kallakurichi hooch tragedy: Every street in Karunapuram left with a corpse

At least five children below the age of 15 have lost their parents in the village as on Thursday.
Karunapuram in Kallakurichi saw funerals in every street of the village.
Karunapuram in Kallakurichi saw funerals in every street of the village.Express - Sriram R

KALLAKURUCHI: Every street in Karunapuram village has the purple shamiyana mounted - the entire neighbourhood resonating with the funeral laments of families as over 19 people from the locality died on Tuesday and Wednesday after consuming illicit arrack sold there.

The incident that has taken over 37 lives in total and has left another 82 hospitalised with severe illness as of Thursday noon.

"My father and mother were fighting over something on Tuesday while my father was drinking hooch from the packet. He left some in the pack and my mother in the heat of the moment, mistook it for omam (ajwain) water and drank it. They both fell sick within a few hours, we took them to Kallakurichi GH but they died leaving the three of us orphaned," said S Kokila (16), the eldest daughter of R Suresh (37) and S. Vadivu (34), who died on Wednesday.

At least five children below the age of 15 have lost their parents in the village as on Thursday.

There has been a demand to the government to take care of these children’s shelter and education and most importantly, to prohibit the sales of liquor and hooch altogether.

"It all starts with liquor, doesn't it? My father drank hooch and my mother mistook it for water and she also died. All I ask for the government is to provide us a house, take care of our educational expenses. Above all, shut down all TASMAC shops and hooch sales," says S Harish (15), Kokila's brother.

Harish and Kokila, along with their 14-year-old brother brother Ragavan are left in the care of their 63 year-old grandmother Muniamma.

Meanwhile, the first death in the hooch row, that of G Praveen Kumar (25) has left his two sons, aged seven and five without a home, as his wife allegedly left the family four years ago.

"My son's children stand alone. Their mother left us without a word while the father died from consuming hooch. Such a terrible fate for my grandchildren, I request any help from the government to help them survive," said Praveen's 65 year-old mother, who did not want to be named.

A few metres away, S Tamilarasi (32), who works as a security at the Kallakurichi government medical college and hospital, had to rush her father into the critical care on Wednesday.

"My father is a daily wage worker and he used to drink regularly. Out of habit, he consumed it early in the morning on Wednesday. We took him to Kallakurichi GH in an hour but he was critical so we took him later to JIPMER in Puducherry. He was declared dead at 4 pm on Wednesday," she said.

"He loved me so much that he held my hands when closing his eyes for the last time. Since I work at the hospital, I see and handle dead bodies everyday but this was unlike anything that I've ever had to deal with," laments Tamilarasi.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com