The politics of “development promise” has been rampant in India for a long time. Basic sanitation, maintenance of community hygiene, security, better safety have all been on the list of promises made to the citizens especially during municipality elections. But year after year, things stay in the same state, with only emergency repair work done before elections in an attempt to mask the shortcomings. Usually, the effects of incompetency are general dissatisfaction and some grievances but sometimes, it has serious implications – the death of a human being. In yet another case of civic apathy, a three-year-old girl died after falling into an open drain in the Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh. The tragic incident took place in Gawdiya mohalla of Maliyana area in the city on Monday afternoon. The victim has been identified as Riya. Her fate could not be worse as she lost her father just 10 days ago.
The whole of the locality is in grief after the child’s death, which was a tragedy purely rising out of unsafe practices by the municipality.
Ria was playing outside when she fell into the drain and died. The family came to know of Ria’s death when her uncle Pappu returned home an hour later and saw her body lying in the drain. The victim’s mother is inconsolable and the family has refused post-mortem of the girl’s body. The little girl is survived by her mother and 15-year old sister, as reported by Times Now.
The death of the little girl must be seen as a severe lack of competence and accountability of the municipality of the area – leaving an open drain that was calling for accidents. All open drains and manholes need to be identified on an urgent basis and covered adequately so that a similar incident does not occur again which results in the loss of innocent lives such as Riya’s.