Updated: December 12, 2021 7:19:30 am
THEY tease him, hit him and run away, twice overturn a trash can on his head, and brazenly make videos of the same. But, at the end of the day, Prakash Bogar, a 59-year-old government school teacher months before his retirement, may have taught six boys of Class 10 at a school in Davangere a lesson they may never forget.
As videos of the students’ treatment of their Hindi teacher went viral via Facebook on Friday and reached Bengaluru, 270 km away, Bogar put a stop to the outrage with a plea: “Please forgive those students, don’t file any case against them or dismiss them from classes.”
At a meeting held by the school on Friday, attended by Bogar, school officials and parents, as well as Channagiri MLA K Madal Virupakshappa who was visiting after hearing about in Karnataka: Students hit him, he says forgive them the videos, several parents insisted that a complaint be filed and the students involved be dismissed. A source associated with the school said Virupakshappa sought “legal action”.
It was then that Bogar, a teacher all his life and at the Davangere government school for the past 18 months or so, spoke up. The children were “still young” and had “made a mistake”, he said. “There is no need to hand them over to police or dismiss them from class. This is a lesson for them and they will be better.”
Apart from the MLA, officials from the district administration rushed to the school after the videos went viral. The matter was also brought to the notice of the office of Minister of Primary and Secondary Education B C Nagesh.
Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI) Thippeshappa G R, who visited the school on Friday, told The Sunday Express that the incident had happened on December 6. “Bogar neither brought it to the notice of the staff, nor was the headmaster informed.” He continued to come to school as usual. “It was only after the videos went viral that it came to my notice. I informed the Deputy Commissioner and went to the school. We spoke to Bogar and a complaint was filed against the students,” the DDPI said.
While the complaint has not been withdrawn, in view of what Bogar had said and consideration for the children’s future, the department has not taken any action against them, Thippeshappa said.
Mahantesh Belagi, Deputy Commissioner, Davangere district, said he could only comment on the incident after going through a report being prepared by the district administration. “We do not want such incidents to happen again,” he said.
Thippeshappa said they were worried about Bogar’s health. “He has cardiac issues and has undergone a surgery. This incident has hurt the entire teaching fraternity.”
Bogar’s son Deepak, who works in Bengaluru, told The Sunday Express his father’s health had deteriorated since the incident and he was in no position to talk. He said the videos came as a surprise to them too as Bogar did not tell the family about what had happened.
He couldn’t view the incident with equanimity as his father, Deepak added. “It came as a shocker to me… What if his life is in danger? I will speak to officials on Monday and see to it that the incident doesn’t affect him in any way.”
Bogar’s stand towards the students though was perhaps less of a surprise. Calling his father a “very soft” man who is devoted to his job, Deepak adds: “I spoke to him on Saturday and asked why he supported the students. He told me that he will be retiring next year, but those students still have a bright future, which he didn’t want to spoil.”
The six students have apologised for their actions.
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