A 24-year-old Tamil Nadu government employee on Saturday died after she slipped and fell into an unclosed septic tank in an under-construction house where she had gone to relieve herself. The victim, identified as Saranya, used to work at a government depot in Kancheepuram district’s Kalakattur. Shockingly, the office where she worked in did not have a washroom facility, hence, all of her women colleagues were forced to go to a nearby building at the time of nature's call.
Speaking to The News Minutes, Saranya's father named Shanmugham said, "She was my life. I can’t digest her death. Saranya used to go out along with a few of her women colleagues to nearby houses or this under-construction building. We never thought it would turn fatal."
The family further said that Saranya, who had cleared the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) and joined the service at Kancheepuram agriculture development office in March 2019, had even thought about resigning from the job. "She used to tell me that there were no toilets in the office. She was struggling to manage so I even told her to quit if she was unable to handle it. But such a thing has happened," said Saranya’s mother Vedavalli.
According to a report in The News Minute, Saranya had gone to a building, close to her office that was being constructed under a Tamil Nadu government scheme, to urinate when the unfortunate incident happened. When she didn't come back to office for half-an-hour, her other worried women colleagues went in look for her. They found her footwears floating in the septic tank and then pulled her out. She was immediately taken to the Kancheepuram Government Hospital, but was declared brought dead.
"The death of the woman is unfortunate and I am upset by the incident. There are several agricultural depots across the state and the depots are managed by the Block Development Officers. However, there are very few independent agricultural depots like the one in Kalakattur. In this case, the district collector has already sent a report to the state government for necessary relief for the family," The News Minute quoted Agricultural Secretary Gangandeep Singh Bedi as saying.
However, he further said that the ruling government in the state had last year ordered the concerned officials to check the sanitation facility in the depots. "However, most of the depots have the infrastructure and wherever there are no toilets, the district officials are instructed to ramp up the infrastructure so that such issues do not happen," Bedi said, adding that the agricultural department will soon take action into the matter.
As per reports, the Tamil Nadu government has provided Rs 90 crore for renovating the old depots, but this unfortunate incident has exposed everything.
Meanwhile, the victim's kin has asked for a compensation and a government job for a family member. They have also requested the government to build proper toilets in government buildings, so that such incident would not repeat in future.