Mohammad Ayub Khan (40) is jobless these days. The marriage season is off so the part-time waiter banks on his savings to run his family.
Living in a shanty in Bawana on the outskirts of Delhi, he commutes to the Delhi High Court in a Blueline bus every time his daughter’s case come up for hearing.
On April 15, last year, 12-year-old Shanno—the eldest of Khan’s three daughters—died after she was allegedly made to squat in the sun by her teacher at an MCD school. Shanno was a student of Class II.
While the police say that Shanno suffered from epilepsy and that they did not find any evidence that she was subjected to corporal punishment, Shanno’s father refuses give up.
“I have not missed a single hearing. I hope justice would be meted to my daughter. The teacher should not go unpunished. I visit the school now and then to enquire if the teacher is back at the job or not. I would not let that happen,” said Khan, while he waited for his daughter’s case to come up for hearing at Court number 32.
The English teacher—Manju Rathi—is still under suspension. Khan said since there were no schools in the area and due to economic constraints, he was forced to send his daughters to the MCD school near their home.
After his eldest daughter died, Khan sent his other two daughters—Shaina and Shehnaz—to an orphanage in Batla House area of south Delhi.
“Whenever there is a holiday I bring my two daughters home. Had I known that my daughter would die while getting education, I would not have sent her to school at all,” said Khan.
After she was allegedly punished by her teacher for not completing her homework, Shanno collapsed in the school premises.
“She was made to squat in the sun with bricks on her back. The school informed us late. A hawker who was passing by rushed
her to the hospital. There was clear negligence on their part,” said Khan. Two days later, Shanno was shifted to Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Hospital where she died on April 20.
“The matter is pending in the High Court. The investigation does not say she was subjected to corporal punishment,” said Karnal Singh, JCP (northern range).