Kid in Kennel Row – The Impact
On 29th September, 2014, a call came to our helpline number and the informer passed a message that a six year old boy was locked up in kennel in a private English medium school at Kudappanakunnu. The informer said that the headmistress of Jawahar English Medium School had punished a UKG student by putting him inside the Kennel for hours because he had spoken to the student sitting near to him. Having visited the school and spoken to the students and the family of the child, we found that it was a fact – though unbelievable! Though the school was closed down after enquiry by the DPI and the district administration; due to political gimmicks, it has been opened later on. The issue was widely publicized and debated upon by the media. Having spoken to some children, some past pupils and parents we found that there have been a past history violent behavior from the teachers of the school towards the students. Statements of the same were submitted by us to the District Police Chief and the Child Rights Commission.
Whatever be the conclusions and findings made by the enquiry agencies, our involvement in this case has had lasting impacts:
1. The Government authorities have opened their eyes to the fact that there are over 1000 schools across the state having insufficient facilities and with no proper Government recognition. Steps have been taken to streamline such schools and standardize them.
2. The vast coverage about the issue in the media highlighted CHILDLINE and there has been great increase in the awareness about child rights and the existence of CHILDLINE for the help of children in distress. Increased number of issues being reported to CHILDLINE vouches for this.
3. There is increased acceptance of CHILDLINE services and the public believe in our ability to sort out child rights issues and create a child friendly society.