The monsoon ritual at a primary school in Parmat, Kanpur. HT Photo
Close on the heels of the story of a nine-year-old girl forced to drink her urine, reports of children being humiliated, tortured, put through absurd hardships and even killed continued to pour into the newsroom from across the nation on Tuesday.
Hindustan Times brings you a round-up of some disturbing events. We will closely track action and changes in policy and policing to make India, which counts itself as an emerging economic superpower, a better place for children.
Branded with a spatula
Behrampore: The burn mark is fresh but the scar runs deep. Brought from his Midnapore home to Behrampore by a businessman, last one year has been a series of abuse for nine-year-old Shibu Singh.
Too poor to feed him, the family sent Shibu to work for businessman Kishore Bhakat in the hope he would at least get his meals. But the child was starved, made to sleep in an open balcony and beaten up regularly.
Monday, an NGO rescued the boy after he was beaten up and branded with a red-hot cooking spatula by his employer, angry because he got delayed in market while grocery shopping.
A case has been lodged but the Bhakats are absconding.
School scares her now
Santiniketan: Forced to drink her urine for wetting bed at a Visva-Bharati hostel, a traumatised Punita Mistri doesn't want to go back to school. “It is too much of a humiliation — to lick urine in front of my friends,” the 10-year-old said on Tuesday.
A student of Visva-Bharati university’s Patha Bhavan school, Punita was “punished” on July 7. Hours later, her parents took her home. Uma Poddar, the warden who forced her to lick the soiled bedsheet, has been arrested.
The child contradicted vice-chancellor Sushanta Dutta Gupta’s claim that she wasn’t forced into the act. “I did lick the bedsheet after salt was sprinkled on it. How can the V-C make such a claim when he was not even there?” she said.
Drain the classroom
Kanpur: For the students of a primary school in Parmat, draining the floodwater that accumulates in their classrooms every monsoon goes hand-in-hand with learning their ABCs.
Armed with broomsticks and buckets, they sweep the water out. If they don’t, they don’t get their lessons. Most of the time, they get drenched, forcing them to go home anyway. Otherwise, they sit on wet floors and study.
“Teachers ask us what we do at home. When we say the water doesn’t get inside, they admonish us,” said a Class 3 student. “What can we do in the absence of sweepers?” asked a teacher.
The school building has a roof that leaks even in light rain. Some classrooms don’t have roof cover at all.
Dad assaults, mom kills
Amritsar: A seven-year-old girl was stabbed to death by her mother on Monday, two days after the woman went to the police accusing her husband of trying to rape the child.
After repeatedly stabbing Meena in the neck, Sakshi, 40, slashed her wrists with the kitchen knife she had killed her daughter with. She is critical.
A tea-stall owner Ramesh Kumar, 45, was arrested Sunday on his wife’s complaint. Sakshi said she couldn’t bear the family members’ accusations of framing Kumar. “I decided to kill myself and Meena.” The couple, who were childless, adopted Meena a few years ago.
The police haven’t shared the details of a note believed to have been written by Sakshi.