All schools should train students to tackle emergencies such as choking, electrocution and other accidents — a fervent appeal from a father whose 11-year-old son choked to death while eating in school.
“There should be a monthly drill to train students in what to do if someone chokes, gets electrocuted or if someone hurts himself. It will help if anything untoward happens and perhaps save lives,” said Palak Dutta, father of Aryan, who was a Class VI student at DPS New Town.
Recounting what happened on Tuesday, Palak said: “My son was eating a sandwich with chicken nuggets brought by one of his friends.”
Aryan, according to his friends, started gasping the moment he choked on a piece and they took him to the washroom “so that he could throw up”. But the boy lost consciousness by the time he reached the washroom.
“There are guards on every floor and teachers who make rounds. They took my son to the school clinic where the nurse tried to revive him,” said Palak, who received a call from the school at 12.58pm, informing him that his son had fallen down and had been taken to a hospital.
“I thought he might have fallen down and hurt himself. I called up his mother, who was at a bank in Kankurgachhi, and asked her to reach the hospital in Salt Lake,” said the assistant vice-president at Axis Bank, Golpark. He drove to the hospital, reaching there at 1.30pm. On the way, Palak received several more calls, enquiring how far he was from the hospital.
Aryan was declared dead on Tuesday evening, after eight hours on the ventilator. The boy, who would have turned 12 this July, had wished for a teddy cake for his birthday.
The parents kept their promise to their “foodie” son — a box of his favourite cupcakes with teddy topping from Mrs Magpie sat where the priest performed a puja at the Duttas’ Duff Street house on Friday. “We would have given it to him for his birthday in July,” murmured mother Saswati.
“He loved sweets from Nakur too,” added Palak. “He wanted to be a chef and would often make omelette with mushroom stuffing and coffee.”
The black bag with a green border that Aryan took to school rested on a shelf near his study table. “I threw away the lunch box. I didn’t want anyone else to use it,” said Palak as his younger son Aneek, 6, was busy playing football on his PlayStation in the next room. “We would be extra careful that Aneek eats properly and not in a hurry. Not just him, we will be careful as well.”