Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Aug 14:
Kanakdei Bhatra, the class X girl student of Odisha, who had set herself on fore in an alleged attempted to commit suicide after her parents expressed their inability to pay her school fees, passed away at the SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack in the wee hours today, sources said.
Hospital sources said Kanakdei, who had suffered 95 percent burns and had developed septicemia, died at around 2.30 am today. She was undergoing treatment at the SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack for the last 20 days.
Kanakdei, a student of Ghatguda High School under Papdahandi block in Nabarangpur district, hailed from Khutuguda village under Jhadabal panchayat in the same block.
On her return from school on July 23, she had asked her father Keshab Bhatra for Rs 148 which she needed to pay her school fees.
Her father Keshab told her that he didn’t have the money. Then she asked her mother Budhbari for the money. On getting an answer in the negative from her too, she was shattered.
The next morning, Kanakdei after wearing her school uniform to leave for school, again went to her mother and sought money from her to pay her school fees. Her mother Budhbari, who was outside their home doing some chores, expressed her helplessness as she didn’t have the money.
On being refused a second time, Kanakdei went inside and allegedly doused herself with kerosene and set herself on fire. On hearing her cries and groans, her mother rushed inside the house and found her ablaze. She called her husband, who along with other villagers, rushed inside and rescued Kanakdei.
Kanakdei was first shifted to Nabarangpur district headquarters hospital and then to the MKCG Medical College and Hospital at Brahmapur and was finally admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack on July 26.
The parents of Kanakdei are poor people who work as daily wagers to earn their livelihood.
The Odisha High Court had intervened in the matter asking the state government to apprise it about the condition of Kanakdei. The court had also directed the government to provide compensation to the kin of the girl by August 6.
A division bench of the court comprising acting Chief Justice Pradip Kumar Mohanty and Justice Biswajit Mohanty had issued the directive in response to a PIL filed by advocate and social activist Prabir Kumar Das.