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How should we protect children from the on-going menace of corporal punishment?
In its report titled 'Protection of Children against Corporal Punishment in Schools and Institutions' a few years ago, Government of India had recognized that 65 per cent of school going children is inflicted with corporal punishment. Despite the ban on corporal punishment on children under Right to Education Act, the menace violence and abuse on children has not relented in schools.

The GOI document defines corporal punishment 'as the infliction of pain intended to change a person's behaviour or to punish them. Though it mainly refers to physical pain either through hitting or forcing the child to sit /stand in uncomfortable positions; an evolving definition also includes within its ambit wrongful confinement, verbal insults, threats and humiliation, which are used with impunity and in utter disregard to the law of land and principles of learning'.

Though, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights has issued a set of guidelines on 'corporal punishment' and asked the state governments to implement the legal provisions as per the guidelines, but it has been to no avail. Mere sending circulars and guidelines is a formality and they are only 'seen and signed' by various educational functionaries and the provisions of the law are never implemented.

The implications of such Acts are more for teacher preparation institutions; in-service training of teachers and administrators; and school-level micro-planning to tackle corporal punishment. 

We also need to organize campaigns and advocacy activities among all the stakeholders to banish corporal punishment. There is a need to prepare parents, Parent Teacher Associations, NGOs, Village Education Committees and Gram Panchayats to work as watchdogs in the implementation of laws on abolishing corporal punishment.

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 In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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