Yesterday we heard of very disconcerting news again: a seven year old girl in Rajasthan, our neighbour state here in India, had been hit by a teacher in July and because of this lost vision of her left eye. She had not done her homework and so the teacher took her notebook and hit it into her face and slapped her several times afterwards. The shocked mother brought her to the hospital when she saw the injuries around the eye and was told that the girl will not see on this eye anymore. It took a lot of effort for this woman to file complaints with the police as they at first refused and as the school administration also pressurized her not to do it. However she did not shy back from this and finally now the public is aware of it, charges are filed and action will be taken against teacher and school.
While we were looking for internet references and sources for this story, we just put some keywords into google and found so many stories of violence and punishment by teachers because of which children got blind, handicapped or even died.
Some weeks ago a 12 year-old girl died because a teacher hit her over the head. Police filed a case for unintentional murder. Last year, a teacher hit a girl on the forehead with a cane. When the girl fell unconscious, the teacher panicked, first hid her in a cupboard and later dumped her body in a water tank. Examination found that she probably died of suffocation, not by the hit on the forehead. A boy was hit by a teacher on the head because he accidentally tore his classmate’s notebook. He is deaf now. A 14-year-old boy collapsed while the teacher was hitting him and then died in hospital. A teenage boy died while running penalty laps for coming too late. A girl had been unable to say the English alphabet, had been beaten and made to stand in the sun for more than two hours without getting water and with bricks on her shoulder. She died after some days in coma.
This all happens although corporal punishment had been declared unconstitutional in India in December 2000. Today again all schools were officially reminded of this fact. We know however that the concept of our school is not very common in the surrounding – hardly any school states that the teachers will not hit, beat or in any way physically punish their students.