UTTER SADNESS: Not only because a boy went missing….

Ujwal was merrily returning from school on the ill-fated day playing in the rain as it had started pouring at around 3:00pm that day. “He was jumping on the water-logged road and moving towards the ditch,” said an eyewitness. The eyewitness noticed that the boy was unaware of the ditch filled with water. “I shouted at him to stop, but the ecstatic boy did not listen to me and he fell into the ditch in no time,” said the eyewitness, who works at a bakery shop. “Other people who noticed my shouting gathered around the ditch, but the young boy disappeared within a fraction of seconds.” The boy had fallen into the drain on the evening of September 21. Five days later, the body of Ujwal Vishwakarma, 10, was found many kilometres downstream of the Bagmati River at the border of Lalitpur and Makawanpur district. – The Himalayan Times; 26 Sep 2021

This is an utter sadness, not only because a boy went missing under there, but more so because the accident (and many similar road-side incidents around the country) could have been prevented (even avoided with appropriate preventive measures in place) to begin with.

Photo (Screen Shot) Source: RONB, Viber, Nepal; Date: 23 September 2021

According to the police records, three people have died after falling into uncovered ditches and manholes inside Kathmandu valley in the last five years. Let’s face it, they had to give up their lives because the relevant authorities, politicians and the government repeatedly failed to act.

We need to be more careful around potholes, ditches and exposed manholes which could remain hidden (even in plain sight) under flooded conditions; especially when relevant authorities conveniently forget to put out warnings for ongoing traffic/pedestrians and fail to barricade/cordon such hazards.