Published: 12th February 2021
#ThrowBackToday: 11 years ago today, corporal punishment allegedly pushed a student to suicide. But did it change anything?
In today's #TBT, we bring up the case of Rouvanjit Rawla, a student from Kolkata who died by suicide after being caned by his principal. Indeed, corporal punishment is a reality of our country...
When 12-year-old student of La Martiniere for Boys, a school in Kolkata, Rouvanjit Rawla burst stink bombs in class, he was thrashed severely with a cane by the principal of the prestigious institution. And on February 12, 2010, the young one chose to hang himself at his residence. This incident occurred in Kolkata, but it gained national importance the ugly face of corporal punishment reared its head in such a brutal way. Though canning is illegal it is often tolerated going by the proverb, 'Spare the rod, spoil the child'. The principal profusely apologised in public for canning the youngster yet, he said that the suicide and thrashing cannot be linked. He, along with two other teachers, were arrested and then released on bail.
Now get this. A 2018 report by NGO Agrasar stated that almost 80 per cent of marginalised students were punished by teachers and 43 per cent of them were regularly beaten brutally. Childline Bengaluru, a helpline for children, till 2019 said that it received five calls per month regarding corporal punishment in Bengaluru schools alone. So no matter how disheartening the case of Rouvanjit Rawla's suicide, corporal punishment seems to be the reality of the Indian education system.