According to the National Disaster Response Force, over 40 children have died after falling into borewells since 2009. (Photo Credit: ANI/Twitter)
A five-year-old girl fell into a 50-feet-deep borewell in Haryana’s Karnal on Sunday. The officials have started the rescue operations in Karnal’s Gharaunda area on Monday. This is yet another incident involving a toddler getting trapped inside a borewell. In fact, business tycoon Anand Mahindra also commented on the disturbing trend. “This is happening far too often. Are there regulations for safety provisions around borewells? Can our engineering colleges prepare templates for how to swiftly excavate an escape route? May our collective prayers for the little girl help the rescuers lift her out to safety,” Mahindra said on Twitter.
This is second such incident within 10 days. Last month on October 28, a three-year-old boy died after being stuck in an abandoned borewell near Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. Commissioner of Revenue Administration J Radhakrishnan said the body of the child was “dismembered” and in a “highly decomposed” state. “Efforts are on to retrieve the mortal remains of the child,” he said. Prayers were held by various sections of society for the child’s early rescue, while leaders such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi wished the wellbeing of the child. Sujith Wilson is not the only child to have met with a tragic end after falling into an abanbdoned borewell as at least 10 other children had died in a similar manner in Tamil Nadu over the past 15 years.
This is not first such incident. According to the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), over 40 children have died after falling into borewells since 2009, and rescue operations failed at least 70 per cent of the time. India now has approximately 27 million borewells, but several of them have been abandoned because they no longer supply water, The Print reported last week. In the past few years, several children have fallen into these open wells, most of which are illegally drilled in order to extract water in areas where groundwater is depleting, an Al-Jazeera report said. At the root of India's borewell deaths, analysts say, is the illegal extraction of groundwater by mafia-style groups, builders and landlords, the report added.