A stench that emanated from the borewell into the tent confirmed the death of Sujith, a boy the state hoped would miraculously survive. A source close to The News Minute confirmed that the boy was dead a minimum of 24 hours before the stench took over. Health Minister Vijayabhaskar had confirmed on Saturday morning that no movement was detected from the child.
There were prayers, hopes and just that everyone wished for a miracle to happen until the most disappointing news struck Tamil Nadu. Social media blamed the Government, they blamed the parents and generally blamed on carelessness. But, the team that effortlessly worked hard for four days with one notion in mind – to rescue the child.
Here’s what actually happened:
“Bayapadatha saami, unna vella thookiduvon. Amma ingu iruken” (“Don’t fear my child, we will get you out. Amma is here) was how 28-year-old Kala Mary and mother of the deceased Sujith assured her son while he was in the pit stuck.
Britto Arokiyaraj and Kala Mary are a very hard-working couple who make sure to save every penny wanting to give only the best to their two sons. Arokiyaraj’s father had dug the borewell in the hope to save rainwater. But he had no luck and soon covered the well with mud to prevent any mishaps. Over the years, the land where the borewell stood remained largely barren, except for a crop of wild corn that was sown every year by an optimistic Britto. But lack of adequate rain in the region meant the crop often failed.
Britto is from an agricultural background but now works as a mason and also at a construction site in a nearby village in order to meet daily needs. Kala also does multiple works including tailoring to earn what she could. In fact, when her son fell, she stitched several bags together to make a rope and pull her son out.
“For years Britto has prayed for rain to revive his fields and help his crops,” says 60-year-old Arul Mary, Kala’s aunt. “And this year his prayer was answered but at the cost of his child,” she adds, her shoulders shaking in grief.
The heavy rains in the region while allowing his crop to grow up to 4 feet in height, also washed away the mud that was used to cover the forgotten borewell, reports The News Minute.
“Kala didn’t even know this well existed or she would never have let the children go there,” says Arul Mary. “Sujith, his brother and cousins were playing near the house and were going to their uncle’s house nearby. They usually take the road behind the house but this time they playfully went through the crops and that is when he fell into the well,” she explains.
The funeral of the 2-year-old was probably the most disappointing to watch. A playful boy who was hoping for one great future, lied inside a 4-feet coffin ready to be buried.
“They worked hard to send their elder child who is four years old to a private school,” says Julia, Sujith’s favourite aunt. “Britto failed his 10th standard and Kala has studied up to 12th. They wanted both the children to study well and get good jobs,” she adds.
For four days, the family lost track of time as they prayed together, skipping meals and forgetting sleep. All except for one resident, 4-year-old Puneet Roshan, Sujith’s elder brother.
On that fateful evening of October 25, it was Puneet who noticed his younger brother fall into the well. He immediately ran home to alert his mother.
“If not for him we would have never found out where Sujith went,” says Julia. “He is perhaps the closest to Sujith in the whole family. You can’t see one without the other. “We don’t know how to explain that he is gone to Puneet,” she says.
Puneet was reportedly found holding two packets of chips at the funeral hoping that his brother would return from the pit one day.
Image and text: The News Minute