Tram ride programme protesting corporal punishment in Kolkata schools

Kolkata, Oct 9, 2010 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS): Donning the activist’s cap, Kolkata kids carried the message for abolition of corporal punishment in schools by embarking the awareness ride in trams criss-crossing the city landscape.

”We organised a Tram ride programme on Oct 5 to protest corporal punishment in schools and spread awareness on the issue.

We are having a similar programme in eight other districts including Malda, Murshidabad, Purulia, Nadia and Howrah where we would sensitise different stakeholders,” Nandini Chatterjee, Secretary, City Level Programme Of Action (CLPOA), told IBNS.

CLPOA had taken the initiative to advocate for abolition of corporal punishment and child marriage with active support from the UNICEF, Kolkata.

The journey started from the Gariahat Tram Depot at 1100 hrs with issue-based banners, colourful balloons to create awareness among the masses throughout the city.

Forty children from different civil society organisations reached at the Tram Terminus at around 1000 hrs.

Recently, the principal and three other teachers of Kolkata’s La Martiniere for Boys, were arrested for allegedly driving an eighth-standard student Rouvanjit Rawla to commit suicide by meting out corporal punishment.

They were, however, granted bail against a personal bond of Rs 500 each.

Waking up to the reality of corporal punishment in schools, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had declared that the the government was framing new rules for the schools and would take stern action for violation of norms.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) also held La Martiniere responsible for the suicide of  Rouvanjit Rawla and stated that the environment in the school was ‘not suitable’ for children.

Adopting corrective measures, the school banned corporal punishment and warned of major penalties against any erring teacher.

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