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What needs to be done with boarding schools mired by ragging, bullying and sexual abuse of juniors?
With an alleged case of ragging and sexual abuse by a gang of seniors students of a well known boarding school of Ajmer, the issue of bullying, ragging, sexual abuse and violence should be discussed threadbare and curbed in boarding schools.

It is being said that it was the victim who took cudgels and reported the matter to his parents on the phone. Reportedly, he told that his self-esteem and self-worth were destroyed by the bullying and sexual abuse by his senior students for several days.

Consequently, the father of the victim rushed to the school to take away his shattered and distressed child. Reportedly, he also lodged a complaint with police in this regard in a city police station.

Over the years, ragging, bullying, campus violence and sexual abuse seems to be thriving in boarding schools of the country with news emerging from schools in Shimla, Mussurie, Gwalior, Dehradun and many other towns.

Ragging is the term as an initiation rite is practiced in many institutions across the involving abuse, humiliation or harassment of the junior students by their seniors.

 It often becomes a devastating menace wherein the newcomers are often subjected to psychological or physical torture.

 In India, it was in 2009 that the University Grants Commission had imposed rules and regulations upon Indian universities and institution of higher education to help curb ragging, and launched a toll-free 'anti-ragging helpline'.

However, the boarding schools in India have no helpline for the victim and counselling services are defunct and non-existent and victims either get distresses and many of them commit suicide.

In its circular issued in the year 2009, the CBSE had written to its affiliated school, "It has been observed that ragging has reared its ugly head in schools and the recent violence reported in a prestigious institution is a matter of shock and grave concern."

The CBSE circular further adds, "No Act of Violence which includes physical or sexual abuse, bullying or Ragging will go unnoticed or unpunished' needs to be clearly stated in the prospectus and other guidelines circulated by the school. Punishment to be meted out in case of a student caught in any act of ragging or bullying should also be clearly spelt out .Parents as well as students need to be aware of the extent of punishment possible. " 

"Punishment to be meted out must be commensurate with the gravity of the action. It may vary from suspension in attending classes, collective and heavy fine In case of group offenders and even go to the extent of rustication or expulsion," instructs the circular

At the end of the list of directives, the circular warns the schools, "Any school which is found to default on any of the above directives will be penalized severely and stringent action to the extent of disaffiliation may be taken against them. In all such cases it is the Head of the Organisation who will be held accountable."

One wonders, whether the CBSE will act in this case the school in question is affiliated to it!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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