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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.

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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.

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Number of User Comments: 16

Sub: ''Gandhi'' offers Rs.1crore

It is amazing that your news item states - Sonia "offers" Rs. 1 crore to the victims of the fire tragedy at Kumbakonam. She says ...

Posted by Hari Padmanabhan

Sub: Hello its nations money

Hey Who is Mrs. Gandhi to offer 1Cr from central funds... Is the PM sleeping???

Posted by Guess

Sub: That woman disgusts me

Sonia Gandhi makes me sick. I feel sick to the stomach reading about her meddling in India's affairs. What right does that Italian have to ...

Posted by sad . . . .

Sub: Why do we wake after events?

This is not the first time that money is offered as compensation for the loss of life to the victims' families that it has started ...

Posted by Ramesh Kapoor

Sub: Where is the money coming from?

The more important question is where is the money coming from? Rupees One crore has been announced as the amount to be given by Sonia ...

Posted by Mukund


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