Ill-fated destitute children home to be shut: Geetha Jeevan

Geetha Jeevan said that Chief Minister MK Stalin has formed a committee led by K Manivasan, principal secretary of the Public Works Department to probe into the incident.
Ministers P Geetha Jeevan and MP Saminathan at Tirupur Government Hospital on Friday.
Ministers P Geetha Jeevan and MP Saminathan at Tirupur Government Hospital on Friday.

COIMBATORE: The home for destitute children, where three boys died due to suspected food poisoning, will be closed said Social Welfare Minister P Geetha Jeevan.

Speaking to reporters, after visiting the children undergoing treatment in Tirupur Government Hospital on Friday, Geetha Jeevan said the children will be shifted to a government home in Erode. Three children of Sri Vivekananda Sevalayam in Thirumuruganpoondi died and 11 others continued to be under treatment for the second day as they suffered from vomiting, diarrhea, fever and stomach pain due to suspected food poisoning.

Geetha Jeevan said that negligence and poor maintenance of the orphanage had cost the lives of three children. “The children faced hardship during the night as the toilet was located 100 metres away from their place of stay. There was no warden in the home and the children were sheltered in a cramped room under steel roofing, even though the building is concrete roofed,” she said.

The Minister said that there are 13 orphanages in Tirupur district and inspections will be carried out in them to check their facilities. “The exact cause of death of students, whether due to fever or food poisoning, will be known only after receiving the test reports. It is illegal to give children food received from outside and action will be taken against the home authorities for violation. Also, action would be taken against the child protection official for failing to hold proper inspections,” she said.

Geetha Jeevan said that Chief Minister MK Stalin has formed a committee led by K Manivasan, principal secretary of the Public Works Department to probe into the incident. She was accompanied by Information and Publicity Minister MP Saminathan, Tirupur Collector S Vineeth and other authorities.

Later, in the evening members of CPM, VCK, Dravidar Kazhagam and AIDWA staged a protest demanding action against the orphanage authorities. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Stalin announced a solatium of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of deceased children under Chief Minister Public Relief Fund.

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