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Hundreds Gather as 2-Year-Old Sujith Wilson is Laid to Rest in TN

Hundreds of people gathered to bid goodbye to Sujith Wilson, who succumbed after being trapped in a borewell.

Updated
India
3 min read

Bidding goodbye to two-year-old Sujith Wilson, relatives and hundreds of people gathered at his final resting place in Pudur, Tamil Nadu, on Tuesday morning, 29 October. The Tamil Nadu government has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of Sujith Wilson.

Sujith Wilson fell and got trapped in an abandoned borewell in Tamil Nadu 25 October. After medical personnel and teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) assessed the situation, authorities declared the child dead, in the wee hours of Tuesday. Officials said the body was in a highly decomposed state and the digging operation was suspended.

A stench began to emanate from the borewell at around 10.30 pm on 28 October. The body of the two-year-old was then taken to his residence in Nadukattupatti after the post-mortem.

J Radhakrishnan, Commissioner of Revenue Administration, said the body of the child was “dismembered” and in a “highly decomposed” state. “We tried our best to rescue him but unfortunately a foul smell had started coming from the borewell in which the child had fallen,” he said.

Rescue efforts were in full swing for over four days but all in vain.

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Deathy Hole Sealed

The 600-feet borewell into which Sujith fell and the new 55-feet pit which was dug by the rescue teams have now been completely sealed with concrete mixture.

Meanwhile, Madras High Court Justices M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee have agreed to hold a special sitting to hear Sujith’s case, though the court is on a holiday on account of Diwali.

The Tamil Nadu IT department has offered Rs five lakh award money for anyone who can come up with technology to rescue children trapped in borewells. The department will also be holding a hackathon in the future.

There Shouldn’t Be Another Such Incident: State Leaders

Condoling Sujith’s death, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said that he had ordered ministers and bureaucrats to do everything required to rescue the child. The rocky terrain was a challenge while drilling a new borewell, thus making the rescue difficult, he said.

He added that tough action has been ordered against the negligence and Collectors have been instructed to ensure borewell guidelines are enforced.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted his condolences.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin tweeted, “Sujith who suffered for the last four days and kept the entire country anxious has attained permanent peace. How do we console his parents? Sujith’s loss is not just the family’s loss but the loss of the entire nation. Sujith will always be remembered in our memories.”

Actor Rajinikanth condoled, tweeting, “It pains me to hear the tragic demise of Sujith. Let his soul rest in peace. My condolences to his family.”

Karur MP Jothimani said that yet another incident should not happen again. “All efforts should be taken to create a system to combat such an incident,” she said.

Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) chief TTV Dinakaran tweeted, “All of us were highly hopeful that the child will be rescued alive but to see him recovered as a dead body is disheartening. There are no words to console the parents and family members.”

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The Nation Mourns

For over four days, the nation, especially Tamil Nadu, was glued to TV sets and Twitter to monitor the rescue efforts that were underway to save Sujith.

This adorable video of Sujith has also been winning hearts.

The news of a stench emanating from the borewell was disheartening and many took to social media to express their condolences and anguish.The people questioned the government for not having a standard operating procedure for incidents such as these and also condemned the civic authorities and public for being negligent about the gaping hole in the first place.

Intense Rescue Ops Across 4 Days

Initially stuck at a depth of 26 feet, the child had slipped further to 85 feet, which made attempts to rescue the child difficult.

On 27 October it was reported that Sujith had fainted, but was still breathing as of Sunday night.

A rig machine was used to carry out drilling near the well, a heavy German-made engine was brought from Ramanathapuram to complete the drilling, a parallel pit 65 feet deep was being dug and necessary support such as oxygen was provided.

Prayers were held for the child's speedy rescue across churches, mosques and temples in Trichy and other districts.

Over a dozen teams of fire and rescue personnel, NDRF, SDRF and private experts were pressed into service.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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