Instances of brutalization and insensitive handling of children, often at the hands of untrained teachers and care-givers, continue to jolt us at regular intervals. The perpetrators often take advantage of the fact that children are soft targets with little or no capability to react.
The incidents in which a class III student was slapped around 40 times in a UP school, a schoolgirl made to stand in front of boy's toilet at a Telangana school as punishment for not wearing the school uniform and lately, the brutal murder of Pradyumnan Thakur, 7, at a school in Gurgaon all throw light on the how pathetically we have failed to ensure the safety of our children. The brutalization of a toddler at a care home in Kochi was an eye-opener for the state. The year-and-a-half old kid was thrashed badly by the proprietor of the center called Kaliveedu.
Reacting to the Kaliveedu incident, Kochi mayor Soumini Jain had then said that since no guidelines for registration of day care centers were in place, the corporation would prepare a separate bylaw and introduce a licensing system.
Months later, the mayor said the corporation had taken steps in this regard. "A draft of the bylaw has been already prepared and has been sent to the vetting committee," the mayor said. "The committee and the council should pass it for the licensing system can be introduced only after that."
Kerala's minister for health and social welfare K.K. Shylaja had told the assembly that a special panel would inspect the condition of day care centers in the state. The minister's office said the department of social welfare had been tasked with the job.
It remains to be seen how and when some concrete steps are taken to ensure that the perpetrators of violence against children are brought to book.