Toilet cleaning by children comes under NHRC scanner

The alleged punishment of cleaning of toilets meted out to primary schoolchildren in Odisha’s Kendrapara district last year has come under the scanner of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), official sources said.

The NHRC has issued summons to the commissioner-cum-secretary of schools and mass education department a week ago ordering personal appearance before it on January 11.
The summon was issued for non-compliance of fact-finding and action-taken report, the sources said. A group of standard three students of government-run Kolathia project Primary School had to clean the toilet as punishment for talking in the classroom .

  H R Bansal, a New Delhi-based lawyer and rights activist, had drawn the attention of the NHRC while describing it as “an act of infringement of child rights”.  In accordance with RTE, students are debarred from doing any form of manual work. Asking children to clean up toilet is not only regrettable but also unlawful,he said. The NHRC had sought for a compliance report from government agencies.  “An on-the-spot inquiry was conducted. The monthly salary of headmaster , has been held up,” District Inspector of Schools Gobind Chandra Pati said.

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