Time: 7. 30 am. Place: Camp Education Society’s Abhinav English medium school,Nigdi. Class 4. 46 students. One by one,they step forward and slap 10-year-old Junied Sayyed. And the reason: Junied had forgotten to bring his classwork book. This had angered the teacher no end. She ordered Junied to stand near the blackboard,herself looked on like a spectator even as Junied’s classmates took turn to a deliver a slap.
The incident occurred on Friday. That day,Junied went home,embarrassed,shaken and with a red swollen face. He did not speak a word through the afternoon. When he opened up,he lied to his father. “I slipped and fell on the ground,” he said. When his father warned him to speak the truth,Junied put the matter straight. “Our classteacher,Anuradha miss,asked my classmates to slap me after I told her that I had misplaced by classwork book,” Junaid told his father. The family immediately took him to YCM hospital in Pimpri. Besides a swollen face,Junaid has also suffered an injury in the mouth which makes it difficult for him to eat food.
“Nobody laughed or made fun of me. There was stunned silence after each slap,” Juneid told this paper at his residence at Parmar Park in Nigdi. “My friends,” says Junied,”beat me softly,while others gave me hard slap.” On Saturday,however a few of his classmates were apologetic as they told him: “Yesterday,we beat you,today you beat us.”
Hurt and shaken,the family is maintaining its calm. “Despite this humiliation,our son has managed to maintain his composure. It’s an incident where anything could have happened…he could have taken it to heart,” says Hakim Sayyed and Razia Sayyed. Both of them are however in no mood to pursue the police complaint they lodged with the Akurdi police chowky. “The teacher and the principal have apologised to us. The teacher said she was wrong and the incident should not happened…,” said Sayyed,adding that they have told the police to withdraw the complaint. “The police have also warned the teacher of lodging an FIR if they receive any more complaint against her,” said Sayyed,a businessman dealing in mehendi.
Sayyed says the teacher’s brother,Avinash D,has reprimanded and beaten her up in front of them. When contacted,he said,”I am also shocked by the incident…I am going to take my sister off the education field.” He said his family is passing through a bad phase. “We lost our mother barely a week back. My father died four years back,my brother is a disabled,may be because of all this tension,this incident occurred..,” he said. “My sister is also now regretting the incident…she fears worse about her future. She has gone to a relative’s place and is not talking to anybody.”
Sayyed said last month,too,the teacher had beaten his son on the knuckles for not doing homework. “That time,when we had complained,the principal had promised a corrective action.” Though the school has against promised them that such incident won’t occur,the Sayyed family remains a worried lot.
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