Mumbai: Chandni Shaikh's death leaves Sanjay Nagar sick with worry
Hundreds more children take ill; anxious parents try to storm the school that distributed suspect medicines
Panic has gripped Sanjay Nagar after a 14-year-old, Chandni Shaikh, fell ill and died just days after popping pills distributed by the local civic school. As the news spread, hundreds of children were rushed to hospital with complaints of nausea and stomach ache, and angry parents tried to storm the school complex yesterday.
More than 1,200 children study in the Sanjay Nagar school complex in Govandi, which houses three different schools. Chandni was a student of the Sanjay Nagar Urdu Municipal School. Her younger sister Sana, who was also her classmate in std VI, told mid-day, "On Monday, we were given folic acid and deworming tablets at school, after which she fell sick. She was vomited continuously every time we gave her something to eat.
There was heavy police bandobast outside the school complex after parents tried to barge inside in protest
"Many other children also complained of vomiting and stomach ache after taking the tablets. The school gave us four tablets per month, but several students have now thrown the medicines away."
A majority of the students rushed to hospital are from the same locality where Chandni lived. The residents have alleged that their children fell ill due to the tablets. Several of them tried to force their way into the school compound in protest. Heavy police bandobast was set up outside the school to control the situation.
Another classmate, Shakawat Ali, was also admitted to hospital. His father said, "On Friday morning, around 10 am, my son was given the tablet. When he came home, he complained of nausea and stomach ache. Following this, my wife took him to hospital."
Shakawat's neighbour, Sayma Khatun, a Std III student, also fell violently ill. "We saw Sayma vomiting after she got home. We immediately took her to hospital, where her condition stabilised. There must be some problem with the tablet," recalled her father, Shahabuddin Khan.
Some parents also hot-footed it to the hospital as a precautionary measure after hearing about the other students falling ill. At the hospital, Samajwadi Party corporator Rais Shaikh told this reporter, "Investigation and the post-mortem report will throw some light on the exact cause of the girl's death. The students were given iron-folic acid supplements and deworming tablets. Some students have complained of nausea."
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