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Students molested inside bus: School cannot shirk responsibility, says MSCPCR chief

Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Susieben Shah on Monday called the recent incident of students being molested inside a bus during a trip to a mall as a disturbing one and asserted that schools will have to take all efforts to prevent a repeat.
Last Updated 26 February 2024, 11:09 IST

Thane: Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Susieben Shah on Monday called the recent incident of students being molested inside a bus during a trip to a mall as a disturbing one and asserted that schools will have to take all efforts to prevent a repeat.

The incident took place on February 20 when students of a private school in Thane were on a picnic to a mall in Ghatkopar in Mumbai.

A police probe began after a girl student complained that the bus attendant had misbehaved, following which he was arrested. Some staffers of the school were also sacked.

"In this disturbing episode, the school management is fully responsible. There is need to create a child-friendly atmosphere in schools. The school management must publicly acknowledge that it failed in fulfilling its responsibility," she told reporters.

Addressing a press conference, Shah said the school management must take care of child safety and its responsibility goes beyond granting no-objection certificate (NOC) for such trips.

The MSCPCR chairperson said she intended to intensify the 'Bal Suraksha Abhiyan' (child protection campaign) in all educational facilities in the state.

"The victims in the February 20 incident as well as their parents will be counselled. I will personally monitor the investigation. Discrepancies between standard operating procedures (SOP) and their implementation on the ground will have to be removed," she said.

Shah emphasised the need for ensuring complete child safety during such trips rather than banning them. She also rued the 'commercialisation' of schools.

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(Published 26 February 2024, 11:09 IST)

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