FAR AWAY from Nithari in Noida, alleged serial killer Moninder Singh’s image scares the children here. Yet it educates them too.
St Joseph’s Co-Ed School, Arera Colony, here embarked upon a novel idea to educate its students to beware of such uncles in neighbourhood. At the school assembly, a play was organised in presence of hundreds of students to convey the message to the students effectively, at a time when Nithari killings continue to have its impact on psyche of children and their parents alike.
‘Moninder Uncle’ is the new next-door neighbour of two school-going siblings Pinki and Rahul. He gets familiar with them with exchange of friendly smiles. One day, he offers chocolates to them. The kids turn down his offer. But not the one to beat a retreat, he continues his offer every day until he succeeds in his designs to subject the siblings to physical torture and strangulate them to death.
Charmingly innocent as they are, the children (all from Standard 3) who acted in the play might not have been able to portray a cruel paedophile killer, yet they acted their part beautifully. They included Rushan Kamran Qureshi (Moninder), Srishti Panwalkar and Srijan Gupta (victimised siblings Pinki and Rahul), and Parth Chaturvedi (good neighbour Mr Sharma). The script was written by Harmeet Kaur and the play was directed by Manoj Nair.
The indecent act of the killer(s) was not included in the play in view of tender minds of students. Police, which looked the other way on complaints in Nithari, were also missing in the play because of its brevity. The play ends with a message to students not to get familiar with and accept any offer whatsoever from a stranger.
Principal of the school Fr Maria Stephen says, “Personality development is a part of the school’s extra-curriculum activities. Our school wants to inculcate the merit into students to recognise bad elements in society while reading their behaviour, feeling, words and body language”.
Professor and head of Sociology Department, Barkatullah University, Dr Gautam Gyanendra, says there have been instances when an alert child not only saved his life but also that of others.
Hence, he added, creating awareness among students would definitely pay to them in a long run. Prof Gyanendra suggested that the State Government should introduce activities like play, workshop and counselling etc in the extra-curricular activities of the schools at the State level round the year in view of horrifying Nithari killings.