Hyderabad: The collapse of the wall at the New Century School at Kukatpally caused the death of two students and injured many. But the children who miraculously escaped the devastation are witnessing post traumatic symptoms as many are reliving the collapse, which snatched the lives of their classmates. The incident is likely to live in their memories for a long time to come.
The education department that has taken stock of the situation will be shifting the remaining students to other schools. More than 10 schools have been identified and parents and children are being given the choice to select. The school management will bear the academic cost.
Some of the students escaped the death by a whisker. Like Devi Sri, a class IV student who, reliving the moment, narrated, “I stepped out to drink water as I was exhausted after the martial arts class, I was half under the shed when it collapsed. My leg was trapped underneath a concrete block. I lost sensation and they had to pull my leg out.” Devi Sri fractured her leg. “When I looked around I saw other classmates lying in the debris, bleeding. The air was dusty, our uniforms and faces were covered with dirt and dust. I couldn’t sleep that night.”
Mr Rama Krishna, uncle of an injured girl said, “She is doing fine now, but she was so scared all through the day. It was difficult to make her understand what happened.”A psychologist, Ms Diana Monteiro said that it was very important to talk to the children about this in an appropriate way, and they should be given time to get over this traumatic stage. They should not be pushed either to talk or not to talk. If children have queries then they should be cleared. Children might experience nightmares; that is common but if that continues for a long time then the child should be given help to understand the issue.”
Following the incident, many children have decided to change their schools. Mr Kadiyam Srihari, education minister, Telangana, said, “Time and again we have been asking the private schools regarding the maintenance. But they are failing to maintain their standard. We will once again conduct an inspection of all the city schools and issue notices to them.”
Mr Venkata, general secretary, Hyderabad Parents Association, who was in the protest said, “The building is in a dilapidated condition, where the bricks are falling off. It is quite evident that the structure might fall any time, still none of the authorities stepped in and took action.”