Four-yr-old Indian girl dies after sleeping off in Qatar school bus

By Mukesh Sharma

Doha, Sep 13 (IANS): Parental uproar greeted the death of an Indian kindergarten student in a school bus in Qatar, a day after the tragedy on Sunday, which was the child's birthday.

The girl from Kerala succumbed purportedly to extreme heat after school bus staff failed to notice the child who had probably slept off, and locked the vehicle after parking it out in the open, media reports said.

Four-year-old Minsa Mariam Jacob was the student of Springfield Kindergarten in Al Wakra, a town in the outskirts of capital Doha.

Local media reports said the driver and the vehicle attendant found the girl when they returned to the bus nearly four hours later. She was rushed to hospital but could not be revived.

Minsa was the younger daughter of Abilash Chacko and Soumya, who have two children.

Showing utter disdain for what is being seen as carelessness by the school, several parents expressed outrage over the tragedy.

"The bus staff responsible for the gruesome incident should be hanged and the management held accountable," said an angry father on an online forum.

Another parent, Abdelaal Abdallah Abdelaal Khalil, an Egyptian national, whose four children study in an Indian school in Doha, said that such an incident hasn't happened for the first time in the country and so it is all the more sad.

"After the attendant has checked the bus, even the driver should repeat the drill. In this way such unfortunate incidents can be avoided," said the lawyer from Alexandria, who has lived in Qatar for close to 15 years.

Another young Indian student of a CBSE school met a painful death in 2010 under similar circumstances at DPS-Modern Indian School in Doha. She was left locked in the school bus after dozing off on way to school.

A senior Indian teacher at a CBSE school in Doha called it utter carelessness on the part of the dead child's school. "Our school has a system of calling the parents to find the reason for absenteeism before classes begin. Or alternatively, schools can make it compulsory that parents send an email or WhatsApp message before classes start if their child is absent. This will alert parents or school authorities if something untoward happens," said the middle-aged educator on condition of anonymity.

Children must be educated on how to deal with such situations, if it comes to this, she added, showing an educative video in which a school child uses the bus horn to draw attention after being locked inside the vehicle. The video has been doing the rounds of social media here.

Qatar's Ministry of Education and Higher Education said it had started a probe into the incident with the "competent authorities". Expressing remorse over the death, a statement issued by the Ministry said it will slap the most severe penalty based on the results of the investigation.

The Minister of Education and Higher Education, Buthainabint Ali Al Nuaimi paid a condolence visit to the grieving family on Monday.

According to friends of the Chacko family, they are hoping to take the child's body to India after all formalities are completed.



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Comment on this article

  • S g kankanady, Mangalore

    Thu, Sep 15 2022

    Closer to home...we should be more worried about the small school vans that drive like F1 and endanger everyone inside and outside

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Af,,,, Mangaluru

    Tue, Sep 13 2022


    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dev, Mangalore

    Tue, Sep 13 2022

    Better use modern technology like in China though it violates privacy like every kid will have ID cards with chips & the system in the bus should be programmed to enable closing the door only after all checked in kids get out. If this is not possible they should be given smart phone enabled instruments which give warning signal to bus operators & the schools if a single student doesn't alight.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Sep 13 2022

    This is not the first time, i am observing such incidents. Even a absent minded own parent forgotten to bring out the child from the car when she was going to office. It happened in UAE some years ago. Best way to install CCTV cameras inside the bus and should be operative even when the the bus is parked. And the connection should be given to all the parents, including the Head Supervisor of the Transport section. Definitely such incidents can be avoided. Off-course the operating cost will be more for the transport, due to additional arrangements.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • ayes p, kudla/ksa

    Tue, Sep 13 2022

    Driver, attendant and school should held responsible and whoever's its fault should be hanged and lesson for others.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • pitu, india

    Tue, Sep 13 2022

    I dont see any sense in your talks . Why to hang, although it was a grave mistake, some type of punishment should be given, dont be rude

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kiran Dsouza, Bangalore

    Tue, Sep 13 2022

    Such a painful death of a small kid. So sad. It seems carelessness of the driver & attendant. School also somewhere at fault? Now the communication is so improved that there should be a system of sending messages to parents once the kids alight from the bus which will alert the parents if it's delayed. Also same should be followed to school administration once the driver drops the kid to home. This way somehow we can avoid tragedies. Honking horn is a fantastic idea, this should be taught to every kid.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Navin Shetty, Manipal/ Bahrain

    Tue, Sep 13 2022

    This is the worst nightmare a parent in every GCC countries ever getting. The outside temperature is too hot reaching up to 41-43 degrees these days and would reach up-to 55+ inside a locked bus. As far as I know its the responsibility of a teacher who will be present in the bus and the driver who locks the bus make sure everyone got down by having a visual inspection in every seat. The kids wont be visible from the from front row if they get sleep in the back rows, that's why the Bahrain MoE made it mandatory to have a visual inspection after everyone gets down. Any failure the driver/ teacher present in the bus and the bus company would be held responsible. I'm sorry for the parents and RIP for the kid who gone too early.

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • GURKA, Mangaluru

    Tue, Sep 13 2022

    Most of the time in the gulf they assign cheap and uneducated staff to save the cost! and this cheap and uneducated labor is very very insincere to his assigned job and not understanding the severity of his responsibilities assigned to him. Instead, keep one more sensible educated staff for the sake of school children. These cheap and unqualified make harm to the employer in the long run. Most of them are interested in watching the internet all the time.

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • GURKA, Mangaluru

    Tue, Sep 13 2022

    Should be closed down the school and send all the staff back to their country blacklisted so that maximum punishment is given to anyone. They should repent their mistake in their lifetime. Its an entire school Management mistake and shouldn't happen anywhere in the world.

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fernandes, Mangalore.

    Tue, Sep 13 2022

    Very tragic incident. Utter carelessness of bus attender and driver. There should be automated head counter while boarding and alighting from bus. This is very very simple technology. May the little one's soul rest in peace. My heartfelt condolences to her parents.

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Althaf, Udupi/Kaup

    Tue, Sep 13 2022

    Heart breaking tragedy!!! Parents need to teach their kids how to handle these situation when it happens. May almighty give patience to the parents of deceased child.

    DisAgree Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

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