By Sampath Seneviratne
“You have bathed enough. That is what I told my grand-daughter. All of a sudden, I noticed her being pulled by a current which carried her away. I saw her being pulled under the culvert and getting stuck in it,” a grandmother giving evidence at the Post-Mortem Examination into the death of her grandchild, said.
Pawani Pramodya Munasinghe, a Grade Two student, had died in this tragic manner. She was from Wajirawatte, Nagolla in the Dodangaslanda area of the Kurunegala District. Her mother had gone to the Middle East for employment, leaving her in the care of her grandmother, H.M. Jinona.
Pawani had met with this tragedy after she went to bathe in the river after school, accompanied by her grandmother. “I always go to this spot in the Deduru Oya after picking up my grandchild from school. I bathe the child there and take her home. On this day too I went to the same spot. The current was stronger that day. A child living close to us was also there. I asked her to come to me to be towelled after her bath. My grand-daughter wanted to get back into the river. Then, she got caught in the current and was taken away from me. The other child who was with me tried to pull her out, but it was in vain. In a split-second, she was pulled by the current. I raised this child right from her small days. I would have never taken her for a bath had I imagined such a tragedy would befall her. I cannot bear the pain,” the grandmother said with tears rolling down her cheeks.