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Jaipur to observe candle-light vigil in honour of corporal punishment victim
As a part of civil society campaign against corporal punishment in schools, a candle-light vigil is being held today (Friday) at Statue Circle in Jaipur in the memory of nine-year-old Piya Choudhary, a victim of corporal punishment, who lost her battle with lymphoma on November 16, after almost a two-year-long struggle.

PIYA CHOUDHARY was subjected to corporal punishment for not completing home work in July 2010 by a teacher of Tagore Public School in Jhunjhunu district, causing permanent fatal damage to her eye. Allegedly, she was struck so hard by her cruel teacher that she lost the sight in her left eye and later developed a clot in her brain. According to her mother, Piya was operated upon eight times for her eye injury but to no avail.

Intially, the school had claimed nothing wrong was done to Piya but her mother moved the court to get justice. In September this year, the school agreed to pay Rs 15 lakhs as compensation and it also tendered an apology for corporal punishment. But, the school made part payment and then started avoiding Piya's mother.

Conventionally, corporal punishment, a form of physical punishment, involves the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offence, breach of rule, indiscipline, bad behaviour or bad manners.

Corporal punishment normally involves slapping, kicking, causing pain through physical acts or striking the student on the buttocks or the palms in a premeditated ceremony with an implement such as a rod, a can, a ruler or any other object.

Many of us, might have seen or faced punishment sometimes for no wrong doing at all but because of difficulty in learning by being asked to write a correct sentence a hundred times in the notebook or on the board, being detained in school, boxing, ear twisting, hand twisting, being sent out of the class-room, running in the sun, standing in the sun with hands up, and many.

There are enough news reports of students losing hearing capacity after being slapped or losing their eye-sight after being hit in the eye. There are also incidents of children committing suicide after being punished or insulted in school.

There is a need for a national campaign against the violation of child rights and corporal punishment in schools.

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