London-The British College (TBC)- a leading academic institution based in Kathmandu—has refuted allegations of negligence regarding the death of a student in Dubai.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the College said that Gaurav Shrestha, 20, was part of the 26-strong group of students visiting UAE in an Educational Trip. The College had strictly forbidden its students to go swimming before or during the educational trip. But on 14th of February 2019, on a college planned excursion to Jumeira Mosque and La Mer beach, Gaurav went to the sea to swim along with a friend. There is a video evidence that has been obtained, where a college staff is asking them to leave the water. However they refused. A while later, it was noticed that Gaurav had drowned under the water. Lifeguards rushed to the scene and were able to recover Gaurav from under the sea, CPR was attempted. However, he was declared dead by doctors at a local hospital.
‘’We are devastated to lose our student, who was a key member of the TBC community,’’ said the College in a statement. ‘’As soon as he heard about the incident, our CEO cut short his visit to Africa and reached Dubai. He coordinated the repatriation of Gaurav’s body to his family in Nepal.’’
The College sponsored Dhiraj Shrestha, a relative of late Gaurav, to go to Dubai and extended full support to the grieving family. The College also paid for the transportation cost to take the body of Gaurav from Dubai to his native village in Siraha district.
A forensic report concluded that Gaurav had died due to drowning. After a thorough investigation, the UAE Police said it was an accident and gave clearance to all concerned. ‘’We fully understand the pain and grief that a family passes through when losing a member of their family. But we are so sad to hear that Mr Mahendra Shrestha, father of late Gaurav, is now accusing TBC of negligence, which is not the case,’’ the statement added.
‘’The educational trip was optional and Gaurav took part in the trip after his parents gave written permission to the College. The Principal of the College had informed all the students who were going on the trip about the objectives of the trip and safety protocols. Gaurav, however, went to the water and even went for swimming by flouting the instructions. So, it’s unfair to blame us for this unfortunate incident,’’ said Joey Foster Ellis, Principal of The British College.
The College said it will cooperate with Nepali authorities if they have got any queries. ‘’We will provide every possible support to the family of Gaurav and will organise activities in his memory,’’ the statement said.