Thursday, February 22, 2007

Elavoor tragedy: a price for our indifference

By John Cheeran
Tragedy that happened in Kerala, India, when a make-shift picnic boat carrying 37 school children and three teachers capsized should keep all of us imprisoned for our blasé approach to the quotidian realities.
15 students of the Elavoor Saint Antony’s Upper Primary School and three teachers of the same school lost their lives. The grief will never stop to run through those hearts that are closer to the departed souls.
It is frightening to realise that how men's and women's judgment can get clouded, and lead to disaster.
The make-shift boat Sivaranjini, made from three fiber boats strung together, should not have carried more than eight persons, authorities say now.
But the disaster-struck boat carried 53 students and four teachers.
Someone should have objected to the idea of taking that many of them in such a boat across the Periyar river.
Either the boatman or the teachers should have said no to that ride.
But then we take chances every moment of our lives, aren’t we?
And to consider that the boat began to leak at the outset of that return journey!
Also it is important that 110-strong picnic party had hired three such boats to their visit to the Thattekadu bird sanctuary. May be teachers were emboldened by the fact nothing happened when they traveled to the sanctuary in the same boats. But that does not prove that their decision was a sound one. Their luck held out during that trip and during the return trip fate lines snapped.
Every year hundreds of schools organize excursion trips such as these. Many of our tourist spots and the allied services are far from professional.
Boats may leak, bridges may creak but you take that trip with chance.
Everyday taking a bus trip on Kerala’s roads is a dangerous game. Buses, mainly private-run ones, ply on the roads with no care or thought for the commuters lives. Majority of these buses are not insured. The overloaded buses are steered around by maniacs in Kerala and astonishingly passengers are willing accomplices in this madness. None of them object driver’s rash driving. It is only when these killer vehicles involve in head-on collisions and murders innocent wayfarers rage takes over.
Then at next dawn, everything repeats.
The callousness of our indifference claims undeserving and innocent victims.
May God forgive us. Even though we know what we are doing.

1 comment:

senjo said...

Thank u
Now I am in Mumbai but I belongs to elavoor
lost is always lost
but memories give as a lesson


John Cheeran at Blogged