In a shocking incident, a 11-year-old girl was made to stand inside boys' toilet for not coming to school in proper uniform at a private school in Hyderabad. The victim is a class V student and following the incident, the girl's parents have recorded a video statement of her. The girl says that she went to school wearing the regular school uniform. When her PT teacher spotted her in the school, she asked why she was not wearing the uniform.
"The PT teacher caught me on my way to my class on the first floor. I kept saying please see my diary but no one paid any heed," the child said.
"They started screaming at me. I got scared and didn't say anything. There were 2-3 teachers including English teachers and tenth class Telugu teacher. They were saying how come she has turned up in civil colour dress and she doesn't even answer our questions. Let us put her in the boys' loo. Children were all watching," the girl is heard saying.
In a video shot by the girl's father, she looks shaken and scared. Also, in the video the father is heard telling the child that no one would now trouble her at school since he has spoken to the school and her teachers but the girls is emphatic that she won't go back to that school.
"Now that you have raised the issue, they will beat me and harass me. I will never go back to that school," the child says, reflecting the trauma and humiliation she must have experienced.
Child rights activist Achyuta Rao, to whom the father complained, says this is also a violation under Prevention of Sexual Offences Against Children (POCSO) law.
"We want to press criminal charges against the school and teachers. How can they act in such an insensitive manner," Mr Rao says. After the incident came into limelight, child rights activists demanded a case against the teacher and also intends to write to the Human Rights Commission.
A large number of parents and locals gathered at the school, located in R C Puram area, to protest against the incident. Telangana's IT minister K T Rama Rao condemned the incident and said he would take up the matter with deputy chief minister and education minister Kadiyam Srihari.
The state government on Monday ordered an inquiry into the matter and asked the district education officer to submit a report. According to the girl's father, a woman PTE (physical training education) teacher of the school asked his daughter the reason for not wearing the uniform on Saturday.
"She was not even bothered to listen to my child's explanation that a note was already written by us in her diary requesting to allow for one day without uniform," he said. "She (the teacher) dragged my child forcefully and asked her to stay for five minutes inside the boys' washroom as a punishment for not wearing the uniform," he alleged.
"This act of abuse has had a bad impact on my child andhurt her dignity," he said. "Now my child is not at all ready to face the co-students as she is feeling ashamed," he said.
The woman teacher, however, denied the allegations and told media persons that as the girl was not wearing uniform, she only asked her the reason. She said the girl was standing near the boys' washroom and was never asked to stand inside it.
Reacting to the incident, K T Rama Rao, in a tweet, said,"Ridiculous & absolutely inhuman. Will take it up with Hon'ble Deputy CM for appropriate action on the school." The girl's father yesterday approached city-based NGO'Balala Hakkula Sangham' over the incident.
With PTI Inputs