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The Burning Of Rose-buds! The Anniversary Of The Tragedy!

Discussion in 'News & Politics' started by varalotti, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    THE BURNING OF ROSE-BUDS! THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE TRAGEDY!

    It was on this day (16<SUP>th</SUP> July) last year that it happened. 94 young, very young school children were trapped to death in a fire in Krishna School in Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu, India. A cruel, gruesome accident which has no parallels in the recent past!

    News reports say that one of the teachers after knowing about the fire had ordered the students not to move and be in their places. Poor children, they obeyed their teachers words only to be in the fatal fire-trap. And another report said that the children when they knew that their end was certain just hugged each other, held each other’s hands before the heartless fire gobbled their hearts.

    And today nothing remains of those 94 rose-buds which were burnt to ashes – nothing but sad memories, an impotent anger against everything and an oil lamp which has been kept in that site. And in the minds of those unfortunate parents there is nothing but a blind rage and a grief beyond all consolation.

    Enquiry comissions were constituted, no reports have come so far. Arrests and accusations have been made but no convictions so far. Schools in Tamilnadu were ordered to remove any structure containing thatched roofs. Speeches were made, laws have been made, relief measures announced – but nothing can bring back those roses back to life. And the greater tragedy is that some children who did not die are still recovering from the burn-injuries and from the shock of seeing their classmates burnt alive before their eyes.

    Yes, today is the anniversary of the burning of rose-buds. Those of us who are religious have prayed to God that those rose-buds be assured a permanent place in heaven as they have already been burnt in hell-fire here on earth. Those of us who have a way with the words have written poems which make the hearts bleed. Those of us who have something to do with school administration have learnt their lesson well. (They are supposed to, at least.) There was even a poster-compaign in Tamilnadu against the heartless fire which has burnt the flowers.

    But what about the rest of us, who can’t write a verse or not religious enough or not connected with administration and Government? Should the event be just an idle memory like a tragic movie we saw last year, a touching book we read sometime in the past? No, not just that.

    Events like this should give us the perspective – the right perspective to view life, its precious gifts and harsh punishments. Those of us who are immersed in grief because our children are not on the top of their classes have a lesson or two to learn from this tragedy. Being the class-topper is definitely not as important as being there to answer our call, being there to hug us and run towards us in times of need.

    Those of us who are losing sleep because we do not drive the car our neighbour drives or possess the handphone our colleague has, can learn that compared to those rose-buds, their half-burnt lives and full-burnt bodies, cars, phones, jewellery, dresses and homes are but tiny specks of dust in the whole scheme of things.

    Those of us who are sad because our children do not love us enough can learn a lot from those parents who today do not have the children they loved.

    Those of us who are ferociously trying to climb the corporate ladder or amass wealth can stop climbing for a while to question whether they are that important.

    Those of us who are running towards vague, distant goals without having time to hug our kids or kiss them or read them stories, talk to them or just be with them, can stop their running for a while to gain this perspective. And if gained they might even realise that after all that the time spent with their children is the only time in life that is well-spent.

    I am not that cruel to say that those children have died only to teach us these precious lessons; but if in spite of their deaths we do not learn these lessons, then our lives might soon reflect the tragedy that happened in Kumbakonam on 16<SUP>th</SUP> July,2004.
     

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  2. Nila

    Nila New IL'ite

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    Definitely these tragedies remind us how precious is human lives and the loved ones! They teach us hard lessons!

    The attached picture and many more shown in the TV during that time, left almost everyone (even the toughest) with atleast a drop of tear. But in addition to feeling sad and heavy, those pathetic pictures left me with these questions - 'Where those children not taught as part of their education on how to react or escape during such fire accidents? How can a teacher ask the poor students not to move knowing about fire?'(If at all what the report says being true!)

    This only makes me compare with the practical things taught to children in countries like the US. Every single child is taught about the fire alarm, sprinkler system, smoke detector and how they are supposed to react on hearing a fire alarm. I'm not saying it will help 100% during such tragedies, but alteast it will save a few lives by teaching how to react.

    Did the Government, in addition to ordering to remove thatched roofs from schools, instruct them to install fire safety kits? Will it help if they can include fire safety instructions as part of the children's curriculum?

    Let's think over it!
     
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    thanks for the concern!

    Dear Nila,

    Some of the advanced schools do have fire-fighting and mock-drills in their syllabus. But schools like this one - Krishna School - Kumbakonam, a typical representative of mushrooming nursery schools in provincial towns do not even have a proper building let alone fire-fighting system.
    We still have a long way to go in that area. Many schools have removed the thatched sheds. And many schools which do not have proper infrastructure have been ordered to close down. But as we all know Government is Government and these things do continue. The whole tragedy is that after the Kumbakonam tragedy there were a couple of more fires but fortunately the children escaped almost unscathed.
    Regarding the teacher who ordered the children to be in their places, poor soul, she did not know the intensity of the fire and she wanted to avoid a stampede. Imagine a class in the first floor of the building with a narrow staircase where only two children can go up or go down at a time. She thought that the fire would be put off in no time and according to her information she did the sensible thing. It proved to be a tragedy as the fire was much more fierce than she thought.
    I think, Nila, you might have read about the fire accident in a Marriage Hall in Srirangam, Trichy where also many people died. Imagine the plight of the bride there - the poor girl lost her groom and almost all of her relatives. I am citing this parallel to say that even in places like marriage halls the fire escapes and fire-fighting systems are not in order.
    thanks for initiating thinking on this subject.
    regards,
    sridhar
    varalotti
     
  4. sumi

    sumi New IL'ite

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    Hi
    I saw ur 'The burning of rose-buds! - anniversary report'. Now I am in the US. Last year this time I was in chennai and I saw all this tragedy in TV. It affects very much bcos they were all small children. They don't know how to react at that time. I remember there was one college bus (agriculture college) that caught fire, I don't know the exact place. I forgot where it was. That time those students were not able to come out from that bus. So right from school the teachers should try to teach about safety. In Chennai, some schools removed thatched roofs. I am having a 3yr old boy and in his school they removed.

    One thing I would say is most of the poor people are affected by these things. Bcos they are not having enough money to put their children in nice schools which has all safety system and other things, they end up selecting marriage halls, schools, etc. that are not maintained so well. Government should take the steps to improve it right from lower category. I am not telling only the Government, also each and every person should take some steps to improve.

    Here, in the US they are maintaining all places very well. Though we can't expect as much as this bcos our country is highly populated, instead people have to take care of maintaing the public places. People should stop things like throwing cigrettes in any place, etc.

    Let us see...

    Sumi
     
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