Corporal punishment: 11-year-old jitters as accused teacher all set to rejoin sc

Shashank K M, a 11-year-old boy from Ajjavara, a remote village in Sullia, finds no merry in going to school since a year. A victim of corporal punishment, he has not only been left with the psychological trauma of the incident when he was mercilessly beaten up by his physical education teacher, but also struggles to overcome the physical pain which continues to trouble him.

His parents’ fight to get justice to their son, has not been successful yet, thanks to the system which seems to have not taken adequate interest in tackling the matter.

It was on February 26, 2013, that Shashank was brutally beaten up by his PT teacher Balakrishna Naik at Government Higher Primary School, Ajjavar, for a negligible mistake during PT period. Shashank who was then in V Std, was taken to the Community Health Centre, where he was treated as an outpatient. 

The next day, his father Madhava K filed a complaint in Sullia police station, but the matter was closed using compromise formula. 

Speaking to Deccan Herald, his father Madhava, a tailor by profession said that some ‘influential’ people including the local ZP member intervened in the matter, to settle the issue.

“My son was made to get treatment as an outpatient at the government hospital despite the severe injury, as the guilty wanted to avoid filing of an FIR in the station. The political leader and police station staff suggested us to go for compromise and I too budged to the demand due to my personal and financial problems,” he said.

As the teacher was not given punishment and the boy continued to ail, the boy’s father raised the issue again demanding the teacher’s transfer. A complaint was filed with the Sullia Block Education Officer who then sent the teacher on deputation to a nearby school in July 2013.

The deputation period ends this month and Balakrishna Naik is expected to return to Ajjavara school on April 10. Apprehensive over his return, Madhava said that his son has lost interest in studies after the incident. “He finds it difficult to walk to his school, which is two kilo metres away from our home. I have spent nearly Rs 15,000 on providing him medical treatment and he is under treatment even now. The doctor has cautioned that the boy may have long term impact of the injury and it may haunt him after 10 to 15 years,” he said, even as he demanded for the transfer of Balakrishna Naik.

Delayed process

Madhava has approached the Childline who has in turn written to the CWC and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. The Commission has sought a report from the deputy director of public instructions on the action taken against the teacher, but the department has not acted yet.

When Deccan Herald contacted the DDPI, he directed to contact the Sullia BEO. The BEO said that he had called for an inquiry following which he sent the teacher on deputation.

“BEO’s power is limited to send the teacher on deputation. It is upto the DDPI to call for an inquiry and decide on transfering the teacher. I have sent my inquiry report to the DDPI a few months ago,” he said.

Commenting on the case, Padi-Valored Director Renny D’Souza said that there was delay from the side of authorities including the DDPI and the CWC in intervening the case and providing justice to the boy. “Sending the guilty teacher on deputation is not the solution. The victim has to be given monetary compensation as well.

In fact, the lack of clarity in the RTE Act, on the disciplinary action to be taken in case of corporal punishment against guilty teachers, is one of the obstacles in the process,” he said.

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