Child Rights Commission steps in to protect school children from harsh corporal punishment
By Jyoti Rao
Citing rapping on the knuckles, making students kneel down or stand up for long hours, sitting like a chair, pinching and slapping, locking the students alone in classrooms and making children run around the school grounds have been forms of corporal punishment documented.
As such, the Commission Chairperson Shantha Sinha has written to all chief education secretaries recommending that there should be no gradations while judging corporal punishment and that "small acts" should not be condoned as they lead to gross violations.
NCPCR Chairperson Shantha Sinha said "A slap is as detrimental to the child's right as grievous injury. Indeed there are no gradations since it must be seen that condoning so called 'small acts' actually lead to gross violations," Sinha wrote in the letter.
The Commission has also taken a serious view of the more serious forms of violence against children such as child sexual abuse, torture, and electric shocks.
Sinha said that even acts like slapping and pinching should not be condoned. "Even such small acts should be taken cognisance of because they have an impact on the child's psychology and could lead to more serious forms of punishment," she said.
Schools have understandably opposed the idea saying that some forms of disciplinary actions do need to be taken, although they don’t have to be violent or aggressive.
Almost 90 per cent of corporal punishment cases in India go unreported because parents think their child's mistake must've been the "provocation", or because they fear for the children.
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