He took a day off from school to pray and then play with his friends. But a 60-foot-deep drain left open by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) brought his life to an abrupt end.
Eight-year-old Mohammad Abdullah died on Friday evening after he fell into the open drain at a DJB sewage pumping station at Jahangirpuri in Northwest Delhi.
Police said the incident was reported around 2.30 p.m. from the G-block pumping station in Jahangirpuri.
Local residents said a truck driver jumped in the drain and took out the minor's body with the help of a tyre-tube as the fire department and the police arrived late to the spot.
Police said the victim, a class IV student of a nearby government school, lived with his maternal grandparents in G-block. On Friday afternoon, Abdullah, after offering his prayers at the nearby mosque, joined his friends to play.
"He was playing near the pumping station along with other children and then entered the premises. Some of the children who were playing with him told us that Abdullah slipped and fell in the deep sewage tank," said Sheeba, the mother of the deceased.
Mohammad Nasiruddin, a resident of the area and a truck driver, rushed to the spot when he got to know of the incident. He was standing outside the pumping station when a few children rushed to him and told him that their friend had fallen into the sewage tank.
"I immediately went inside and jumped into the sewage water tank with a Tata-407 tyre-tube. Since the flow of water was very high, it was difficult to trace the boy in the deep tank. The pumping station staff pumped out a significant portion of water. I then jumped inside the drain and after looking for the boy found him. It seemed like he was dead," said Nasiruddin.
He added that the police then came to the spot with the fire brigade and took the boy to Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospital where he was declared brought dead.
Sanjam Chima, spokesperson of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), said, "We are looking into the matter to know how the boy entered the premises even though there is high security in place."