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Controversial Surat school puts primary kids to agni pariksha

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by rajneesh madhok, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. rajneesh madhok

    rajneesh madhok India
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    Jan 1, 2010
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    Surat school puts primary kids to agni pariksha

    Surat: In a shocking incident, students of the primary section of a private school in Surat were forced to walk barefoot on a bed of burning coal and broken glass, on Tuesday evening.
    <!-- lhs-col --> The entire exercise, ostensibly organised to boost the self-confidence of the children, took place at the Riverdale Academy located on Rander road in the city.
    During the event, which lasted for close to three hours, the participating children suffered injuries and cried profusely but this had no impact on the school authorities.
    Even the parents of the children watched the event without protesting. A shocked district education department has ordered an enquiry into the incident.
    The school had organised a special programme — ‘Swashrey Din’ (non-dependence day) — on the school premises for the students of the primary section.
    Without training the children for the potentially dangerous exercise, the school authorities made every student in the age group of 9 to 14 years walk on the bed of burning coal. Eyewitnesses said the school authorities had installed hi-powered fans to prevent the fire from dying out.
    Frightened students started crying when the school authorities asked them to walk on the bed of burning coal but, instead of scrapping the event, the teachers forced the children to walk on it. Strangely, the parents not only allowed their children to take part in the painful exercise, they actually enjoyed the spectacle with ice-cream and snacks.
    The district education department went into action when it learnt about the incident and ordered an enquiry. “Nobody has filed a complaint with us, but we have started a departmental enquiry into the matter,” KR Zanzurkia, district education officer, said. “The issue is serious and action will be taken once the guilty are identified.”
    Meanwhile, school authorities were untraceable after the incident came to light. Despite several attempts, neither the school principal nor the school trustees was available for comment.
    Even members of the Astha Education Trust, which runs the school, were unavailable. A source said the school has organised similar programmes even in the past where students were made to perform difficult stunts.

    Rajneesh madhok
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