By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
For us in India it’s a sort of status symbol for parents to send their kids to elite schools with names that conveys the hefty fee they can afford to pay. But the death of seven years old Pradumn at Ryan International School has brought to light a very dark and grim truth of child sexual abuse which we thought didn’t exist in this country.
It was a general belief that child molestation is something that happens in western countries, it cannot happen here but the Gurgaon incident has forced many parents to rethink their beliefs in the education system. School is the last place a parent would imagine as a threat when it comes to child safety. Tough background checks, separate facilities for working staff, high and barbed boundary walls and fences. Making sure regular attendance is taken once students enter and leave the school premises and teachers have the phone numbers of parents within reach. A teacher-parents committee should be made to ensure these safety measures and fines and penalties should be imposed on digressing institutions in safety matters.
In this case, role of school management should be probed thoroughly and government finally relented for a CBI inquiry but may be we should revisit the laws that deal with crimes against children. Why can’t parents send their children to govt. run schools, these schools are cheap but no less efficient in education from private names. May be parents can volunteer in these schools to bring up their standards. An aganwadi pathshala in Raghubir Nagar, New Delhi or a High profile school in Dehradun or Mumbai, all children are precious and are future of this country, it’s our responsibility to keep that future safe.