Friday, July 15, 2005


2004 Kumbakonam Fire

Exactly a year ago, this day over 90 kids aged 4-10 went to their school only to be locked in and burnt alive. Since then, several other bigger incidents have pushed this one to the back burner. However, few corrective actions did take place:
  1. The School where the accident occurred has been closed
  2. Kids who escaped the fire have been accommodated in other schools
  3. Affected families received compensation
  4. Schools can no longer have 'thatched' roof class rooms in the State
  5. Another commission was instituted to probe the accident and the findings have just been given to the State Government.
  6. Several celebrities promised assistance and few delivered
  7. Few people connected with the school were arrested (and released?) but no one has been charged yet. In other words, justice has NOT been yet and there is no closure for the affected families.

We visited the school last December, on a rainy night. That place was enveloped in an eerie silence. We said our silent prayers and returned with a heavy heart. Except for a huge billboard with the pictures of the perished children, there was no sign of any memorial. I hope the city builds a fitting memorial for the perished children by this time next year.