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Corporal punishment still common in Indian schools

To most American students, corporal punishment in schools is a thing of the past. Parents or grandparents may have experienced it, but it is not something that garners much media attention these days. However, corporal punishment is still prevalent in many countries, including India.

Over the summer, a young Indian boy named Rouvanjit Rawla hanged himself in his home three days after being hit with a cane by his school’s principal.

According to Globalpost.com, further investigation conducted by India’s National Commission for Protection of Child Rights revealed that he had suffered abuse from multiple teachers over several months.

Rawla’s death placed the ongoing problem of corporal punishment in the spotlight, especially since he came from a middle-class family and attended one of the most prestigious schools in India.

Even though corporal punishment in schools is illegal in India, many still practice and even encourage it. According to a study by Plan International, cited in an article on BBC News, 65% of Indian children have received some type of corporal punishment.

The article goes on to say that teachers hit students with their hands or sticks, force them to stand in uncomfortable positions for an extended period of time or tie them to chairs. Furthermore, the majority of these children have been sexually abused, and more boys are punished than girls.

Most children don’t report abuse because they are afraid, and many of them stop attending school because of their injuries. The violence greatly hinders their ability to learn.

In addition to the obvious psychological damages, corporal punishment has also negatively affected India’s economy. About $7.42 billion is lost every year according to Plan International.

Officials are making efforts to deal with this issue immediately and enforce the laws that are already in place, but it still may be a long time before India finally sees an end to corporal punishment in its schools.

Sources: Sify.com, Globalpost.com, BBC News

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