Friday, June 14, 2024

College’s nonchalance shocks family members


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Student’s death in Nepal

By Our Reporter


Hamida G Momin

Shillong: Forty eight hours after Hamida G Momin, an ex-student of Shillong, went missing during an educational tour mishap in Nepal, her parents remain clueless about her whereabouts. Distraught that her college in Chennai, where she was studying for her post graduation, have “not even once bothered to call them or inform them of the details of the matter”.

Hamida and nine of her friends fell into a river when a weak bridge collapsed on the Trishuli River in Nepal on Saturday. Hamida is reported to have been swept away and officially declared ‘missing’ as her body has not yet been found. A colleague, from Chennai, died in the tragedy, which left six others critically injured.

“My parents are inconsolable. We are dependent on the internet for news about our sister”, Hamida’s elder brother John Momin told The Shillong Times over phone on Monday.

Hamida is a student of Mar Gregarious Arts and Science College in Chennai and along with 41 of her college mates was on an educational tour to Nepal, when a bridge she was walking across broke. According to information given by the college, Hamida’s colleague, Florence Angel, from Chennai succumbed to injuries due to the fall from the broken bridge. Ten others also sustained injuries including one other student from Meghalaya, Kalbing Stone and Manipur’s Champoululung Rangmei. Stone sustained minor injuries while Rangmei is said to have undergone surgery for critical injuries, at Kathmandu.

Hamida is said to have been swept away in the waters when the bridge gave way. “The Nepal military has refused to confirm if she is dead. She is still declared missing as they haven’t found the body so far. We are living in hope”, John, her brother said.

Incidentally, this is only the second year that the college tour has traveled outside India. Last year, the previous batch traveled to Sri Lanka.

Shockingly, 48 hours since the tragedy, the college has not yet spoken to Hamida’s parents. Not even to inform them of the incident. “We could not contact them as we could not connect with their number, so we informed her local guardian, the person in charge of the hostel where she lived”, Principal of Mar Gregarious Arts and Science College Dr P Prakasam told The Shillong Times.

Ironically, it did not take more than 30 minutes for this newspaper to reach out to Hamida’s family and speak to them.

Hamida, who did her schooling from Tura, near her village in West Garo hills, moved to Shillong for her graduation in Arts from St Mary’s college. “She was a polite, friendly and bright student and I remembered her as I found her name very unusual and nice”, Hamida’s former teacher in college, Head of the English department, St Mary’s college, Toony Gill, said. “I am still numb with shock to hear of the mishap,” she added.

Meanwhile, Hamida’s younger brother Hamedul G Momin remained as angry with the college as his elder brother. “Our parents are distressed. There was a time when (Contd on P-10)


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