EDUCATION: Indian teacher parades schoolgirl naked for ‘stealing’

Indian schoolgirls take shelter under a roadside stall during a heavy downpour in New Delhi on Aug. 29, 2012. Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

DEAN NELSON
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

The scale of cruelty and corporal punishment in Indian schools was highlighted Friday by the attempted suicide of a 13-year-girl who was paraded naked by a teacher after being accused of stealing from a classmate.

The girl returned home after school and jumped off the balcony of the four-storey block of flats in Delhi where she lived. Her family said she had been distraught by her public humiliation.

Her case emerged amid a series of reports of abuse of children by teachers in India. A four-year-old boy was forced to drink his own urine by his nursery teacher in Andhra Pradesh to punish him for wetting himself. A five-year-old boy in the same state was beaten up by a school principal, and a seven-year-old Dalit girl was thrashed by her math teacher for failing to solve a problem. A teacher was arrested in Madhya Pradesh for partially scalping an eight-year-old girl.

Colin Gonsolves, the director of India’s Human Rights Law Network, said corporal punishment was illegal in schools but remained widespread.

“We are still living in dark ages,” he added.

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