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Kumbakonam fire: Gandhi offers Rs 1cr for victims
July 18, 2004 15:36 IST
Last Updated: July 18, 2004 20:25 IST
Describing the Friday fire tragedy at a school in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu as 'one which has stunned and shocked the entire nation', United Progressive Alliance chairman and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday announced a Rs one crore special package for the victims on behalf of the central government for relief, rehabilitation and safety measures.
"When precious lives of children are lost, the tragedy is more," she told reporters after visiting children at the government hospital in Kumbakonam, where they are undergoing treatment.
"We should learn lessons from this tragedy and try to prevent recurrence of such incidents," Gandhi said.
An additional amount of Rs 25 lakh would be sanctioned from the National Children Relief Fund for replacing all thatched noon meals centres into pucca ones.
Earlier, arriving by a helicoptor from Tiruchirapalli, she drove down to the government hospital.
She also met the parents of the victims, who perished in the fire. From there, she went to the scene of the tragedy.
She was accompanied by Union ministers Mani Shankar Aiyer and Dayanidhi Maran.
In another development, two students, who received serious burns at the Kumbakonam school fire tragedy on Friday, were admitted to the Apollo Hospital in Chennai on Saturday night.
The children - Kousalya (6) and Vijay (8) - received extensive burns on their upper limbs and face, renowned plastic surgeon Dr K Sridhar, who is treating them, said.
"Both patients are running a temperature and criticality continues," he said. Removal of burnt skin and grafting could be taken up in a couple of days if their condition stablisied.
Vijay was a bit restless and often woke up, recollecting the tragedy. His pupils showed dilatation. Doctors are checking for internal injuries.
One more child, with extensive burns, was shifted to the Apollo Hospital in Madurai and was in the ICU, Dr Sridhar added.