Photo: G.N. Rao
"In a heart-rending tragedy, eight children between the ages of five and ten years, were killed and 20 others seriously injured when the school bus in which they were returning home plunged into a stream in Khammam district on Tuesday afternoon.
Around 40 students of L.V. Reddy Memorial School were packed into the bus after the driver picked them up from Vepalagadda village in Kothagudam mandal. The bus suddenly fell off a narrow bridge which had no parapet wall across Peddavagu stream, eyewitness in Tungaram village in Chandrugonda mandal said. The driver fled the scene after the accident, but was allegedly assaulted by some irate villagers near Malabanjara village in Kothagudem mandal late in the night.
Six students died instantaneously while two others succumbed to injuries at a hospital in Kothagudem. Local shepherds rushed to the rescue of the children and saved many of them from drowning.
Rash and negligent driving, the narrow road abutting the stream and the poor condition of the vehicle proved fatal for the hapless children, all of whom belonged to families of weaker section."
Courtesy The Hindu
You would wonder why should anyone reproduce the newspaper item as a blog post.
This is a tragedy,yet brave people have made a difference.
I was reminded once again about this, today in my mail. Another person forwarded this item , which I thought is fit enough to be commended and brought to the notice of all my blog friends.
"Dharma Seethya Nayak, a shepherd, saved 25 children by pulling them out of the water.12- year-old displayed alacrity by hanging onto the window with one arm and pulling six of his friends.The little boy was drowned in applause, appreciation and recognition of his selfless act in saving six children when the school bus in which they were travelling in Khammam district plunged into a stream on the afternoon of March 20. Eight students lost their lives in the accident.
But for someone as young, the praise did not go to Praveen Prakash's head and he remembered his conversation with the cleaner, who was driving the ill-fated bus of the L.V. Reddy Memorial School packed with 40 children. “When I asked him why he was behind the wheel, he threatened to hit me and asked me to keep quiet. Minutes later, our bus nosedived off the bridge into the Peddavagu near Tungaram,” he recalled.
At a felicitation organised by the Andhra Pradesh Balaka Hakula Sangham (APBHS) here on Sunday, he said that after going through the harrowing experience, his only thought was that such an accident should not recur, anywhere in the world.
Soon after the swirling waters enveloped the bus, the 12- year-old displayed alacrity by hanging onto the window with one arm and pulling six of his friends, one after the other onto the top of the bus.
Dharma Seethya Nayak, a shepherd who was watching over his animals grazing nearby, saved 25 children by pulling them out of the water. His initially thought that a plane had come crashing down.
“Such was the noise and once I saw it was a bus, I did what I could, to save the students,” said the brave man who incidentally lost his grandson in the accident.
They were felicitated by Hyderabad Police Commissioner A.K. Khan in the presence of APBHS president Achyuta Rao and others.
Mr. Khan said he would ensure that proposals are sent to Central government, recommending Praveen Prakash and Seethya Nayak for award of the Prime Minister's Life-Saving Medal saying their act deserved recognition at the national-level."
Here, these innocent people have proved again, that good hearts are alive and kicking.
I salute them.