Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Brahmapur/Cuttack July 26:
Kanakadei Bhatra, the girl student of Nabarangpur district in Odisha who allegedly attempted to commit suicide by setting herself on fire after her parents expressed their inability to pay her school fees, was shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack this evening.
Kanakdei, a class X student of Ghatguda High School under Papdahandi block, had been admitted to the MKCG Medical College and Hospital at Brahmapur but had to be shifted to Cuttack after her condition worsened further.
Dr Ashok Kumar Behera, Superintendent of the MKCG Medical College and Hospital had earlier in the day said; “Her condition is critical. We are trying our level best”.
Sources at MKCG Medical College and Hospital had said that Kanakdei has suffered 95 percent burns on her body. Chances of survival in such cases are extremely remote.
Kanakdei Bhatra hails from Khutuguda village under Jhadabal panchayat in Papdahandi block of Nabarangpur district. She is a class tenth student of Ghatguda High School. On her return from school on Wednesday, 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 and on getting an answer in the negative from her too, she was depressed. Parents of Kanakdei are poor people who work as daily wagers to earn their livelihood.
On Thursday morning, Kanakdei after wearing her school uniform to leave to attend 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. Later she was shifted to Nabarangpur district headquarters hospital in a 108 ambulance and was admitted to the female ward. Dr. Sonali Das, the physician who attended on her at the hospital, had said that she was suffering from 85 percent burns both on her posterior and anterior.
As news spread that a student had attempted to commit suicide for want of money to pay school fees, Nabarangpur SDO Parikshit Sethi visited the hospital. After holding discussions with the CDMO, Dr Niranjan Nayak shifted Kanakdei to the MKCG Medical College and Hospital at Brahmapur.
Subash Chandra Charchhi, headmaster of Ghatguda High School, however, refused to accept the school fee issue. He has said Kanakdei was not attending school for the last ten days due to rains and had sustained injuries as her dress caught fire from the oven in the kitchen.