Statesman News Service
Bankura, 21 July
Sniffing adhesive for that heady feeling turned fatal for a student in a school hostel and left another gasping in Bankura today. The bizarre occurrence has left teachers, guardians and medical experts in the district town perplexed.
Two students of Garh Raipur High School in Khatra overslept and were not responding to others in the morning. Empty tubes of Dendrite ~ a popular and cheap adhesive ~ were found in their hostel rooms. The schoolteachers and the Headmaster, Mr Rajkumar Banerjee rushed to the hostel immediately and when all attempts to wake the boys failed they were rushed to Raipur Block Hospital. The Block Hospital, considering the gravity of the case promptly referred them to the Bankura Sammiloni Medical College & Hospital in a critical condition.
The hospital declared one of them – Rana Kalindi (13) as
brought dead and class VI student Mongal Mandi (12) was struggling for life.
Dr Panchanan Kundu, superintendent, BSMCH said: “Rana gave us no chance and Mongal has a bleak chance of survival as the intoxicating hydrocarbon of the adhesive has affected his central nervous system badly. Our medical experts are doing their best for the boy, however.”
The Garh Raipur High School in Khatra sub-division takes pride in its glorious past as the Higher Secondary topper in 2008 and the seventh rank holder in 2006 Madhyamik were its students.
The school runs a hostel for financially weak SC & ST students of the locality where 270 boys are accommodated. The school however can’t afford engaging a hostel superintendent but a pair of teachers alternatively supervises the students besides a Night Guard keeps vigil.
Kalindi – a class VIII student is a resident of Sonagara village and Mandi from neighbouring Dheko-Raghunathpur. Mr Banerjee, the Headmaster said: “Kalindi was a bright student and we were quite hopeful of his prospects in the board examinations.”
Kalindi&’s father – Radhanath – a bamboo artisan by profession said: “He never liked to stay at home on holidays and now I understand what drew him to the hostel.”
The authority claimed that it had no idea whether a section of hostel students had gotten addicted to the adhesive. Mr Banerjee said: “After the mishap I personally inquired the matter and to my utter surprise I came to know that the boys were getting supply of the dangerous substance from the local shops.” Easily available, sniffing adhesive has turned an addiction. It is commonly used by shoemakers for gluing shoes, leather products and by carpenters to join wooden materials. Besides, it is used to repair tubes of bicycles and motor vehicles. A section of school, college students are falling prey to the adhesive in South Bengal districts these days.
Groups of street children are usually seen huddled together, taking turns at blowing into outwardly empty polythene bags, milk or chips packets at several spots.
A little amount of Dendrite is taken inside the bag and the pungent smell of the adhesive gives them a high.
“The adhesive glue contains toluene, a sweet-smelling and intoxicating hydrocarbon, which is neuro-toxic. It dissolves the membrane of the brain cells and causes hallucination; affects mental health, causes kidney or liver failure, paralysis and even death”, according to Dr Kundu.