Pradeep Pattanayak

In a heart-wrenching incident, a 13-year-old boy allegedly hanged himself to death after his father failed to bring him biryani at Gobindpur village under Nilagiri block in Balasore district on Wednesday. 

The deceased has been identified as Satyabrata Mahanna, son of Manoranjan Mahanna, a resident of Gobindpur village in the north-Odisha district. Incidentally, Manoranjan is contesting for Ward member post in the on-going Panchayat polls.

The final rites of the deceased boy were performed on Thursday as hundreds of tearful villagers bid him adieu.

According to sources, Satyabrata, a Class VIII student, had urged his father on Monday to get some biryani for him. However, owing to preoccupation with the elections, Manoranjan couldn’t get his son’s favourite food.  On Wednesday, Satyabrata’s demands for the dish grew. However, Manoranjan failed again on account of his preoccupation with some work and returned home empty handed.

“Satyabrata had been pestering his father to get him a plate of biryani from market. As the father was busy for the elections, he somehow forgot to fulfil his son’s wish. Upon finding his father forgetting on repeated occasions, Satyabrata took it to heart and ended his life,” said a neighbour, Karunakar Mahanna, in teary eyes.

The same night, Satyabrata family members allegedly found him hanging from the roof of a room in the house. They immediately brought him down and rushed him to the Khantapada government hospital. But it was too late by then. The doctors there declared him dead before admission.

After autopsy at Balasore district headquarters hospital (DHH), the body was handed over to the family and the final rites were conducted on Thursday. 

Balasore MP (BJP) Pratap Sarangi on Thursday visited the bereaved family and expressed his condolences to the family members. “The boy took away his precious life over a trivial reason. I ascribe it to the effect of advertisement by food companies on the vulnerable minds of the children. In the past, our mothers would prepare different pastries and delicacies. Now time has changed, so has the food habit. This apart, children are becoming more and more obstinate, thanks to increasing trend of nuclear family set up,” Sarangi said. 

“In joint families, children have their siblings to play with. Children in nuclear family miss this. So they spend more time on mobile phones. Parents too think it as a way to keep their children otherwise busy. These things are largely responsible for making children stubborn. Time has come to think about the family set up in India or else such incidents will only increase,” added Sarangi.