Scolded and humiliated at school, girl ends life

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Bhopal, Sept. 15 -- When Shivani returned from school on Thursday, she looked a little upset, but no could guess that the bright girl, who had made it a habit to emerge topper in her class, year after year, would end her life. The 14-year-old went straight into the room and hanged self to death. The deceased's father, Hriday Narayan Tomar, alleges that ill treatment by a teacher at the school is responsible for his daughter's death. "The school authorities say that she showed a friend her copy during a test. The teacher who saw it, tore her copy, threw on her face and sent her out of the class, making her stand outside for an hour," said Tomar, adding that Shivani was told that she would not be allowed to take the Class 10 exam for next three years. The family members feel that this apparently scared the girl who took studies too seriously. To avoid being disgraced and threatened she ended her life. For the deceased's parents, it was unbelievable, that the teenaged girl, whom everybody in the Rajendra Nagar locality looked up to because of her dedication towards studies, would take such a step. Tomar says his daughter was an intelligent girl, who enjoyed studying on her own. She had secured 88% marks in fifth grade, 91.3% in eighth grade and 81% in ninth. "We asked them to show her copy so as to find out if she indeed showed it to the other girl for helping her, but they don't have the copy now. They tore it completely," said Tomar. Shivani's younger sister and other schoolgirls had informed the family about the incident. "Even if there is a mistake, teachers should be sensitive to kids. We want strict action against the teacher so that there is a lesson for others," said Rajesh Shrivastava, a resident of Rajendra Nagar. Shivani was the eldest among three siblings. She was studying in Class 10 in GB Convent School at Shankaracharya Nagar near the Bhopal railway station. The family says that they would now shift the younger kid to another school. "The teacher had caught Shivani, letting her classmate, see her answer sheet during the exam and the invigilator had snatched her copy and tore it up, apart from making her stand out of the classroom," said the investigating officer at Bazaria police station. District education officer (DEO) CM Upadhyay said that he has come to know about the incident through media reports and would be sending team to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the incident. The teachers could not be contacted as the school remained closed due to Shivani's demise on Friday. The Bazaria police have begun investigation in the case. Police said that statements are being recorded and due action would be taken after inquiry. Protest on death: Local residents staged a demonstration to protest the death. Demanding action, they blocked road near Bazaria police station in the morning. The deceased's relatives said that the police hadn't given the copy of FIR to the family as yet. They said that action should be taken by authorities so that schools become more sensitive towards children. The protesters dispersed after repeated persuasion by police officials.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.