A private school bus driver committed suicide by setting himself ablaze in an auto in Thiruvananthapuram. The deceased has been identified as Sreekumar from Marathoor, Thiruvananthapuram.
A school driver of Kariyakam Chempaka School in Thiruvananthapuram, Sreekumar set himself on fire inside an auto that was parked outside the school. People who saw Sreekumar and his auto on fire called the fire force. Although the flames were doused, he was declared dead.
Nearly 60 employees, including drivers and ayahs, were dismissed from the school during the Covid-related lockdown. Sreekumar and his wife, Bindu, were amongst those whose services were terminated. Those dismissed were staging protests in front of the school over the act. Sreekumar, who was driving an auto after losing his job, had also attended the protest. Sreekumar had been working for the school for 16 years
According to sources, Sreekumar was facing financial difficulties and had entered a state of depression after losing his job and this led to the suicide. He leaves behind his wife, Bindu, and daughters Gayathri and Meenu.
Although the school authorities is said to have stated that Sreekumar’s suicide was not related to the school, they have offered a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to Sreekumar’s family. Sreekumar’s colleagues had requested the District Collector to look into the matter and offer his family compensation.