Three child sex abuse incidents in two months at Kolkata schools paints a grim picture of decaying morality

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Kolkata: Easy access to pornography and decay of morality is the main reason behind the rise of child sex abuse in Kolkata’s premium schools, feels counsellors and social activists.

On Friday too, a dance teacher was arrested from Carmel Primary School for sexually assault of a 6-year-old, class II student for months. The issue came to the notice when the child refused to go to school. A little prodding by her mother opened a can of worms. Following which the lady lodged a complaint at Tollygunge Police Station, which eventually led to the arrested of the teacher.

Angry parents were seen camping outside the school premise. Most parents wanted to know why a male teacher had been employed in a girls school and also why the CCTV cameras were not functional in the school.

“My child is in a state of panic and shock,” said the victim’s mother, while her aunt alleged that the teacher had threatened her with dire consequences if she reported the matter to anyone.

This is not the first time that a child has been sexually abused within the school premises in Kolkata.

Only two months back in December, two individual incidents of sexual assaults on school students had been reported.

At GD Birla School, two male physical education teachers had been arrested for sexually abusing one of their student, who was only 4-year-old. Another such was reported at MP Birla Foundation Higher Secondary School.

Speaking on the disturbing trend, Paromita Mitra Bhowmick, Consultant psychologist and resource person for teachers training and development, said, “Today teachers are mostly bogged down by personal issues. They need an annual mental health screening and sensitization. Many are teachers by default as it’s still an easy profession to get in. Their commitment and accountability is decreasing except in some schools with a very efficient administration. Children are easy victims of outlet of sexual frustrations, anger and displaced emotions from personal issues of some teachers.”

However, she maintained that most schools lacked a system where teachers are counselled. “CBSE has made it mandatory for such counselling a few months back. Most reputed ICSE schools do have such arrangements, but not every school subscribes to this, despite there being an immediate need, especially when values are eroding away,” she added.

Adding another dimension to the entire issue was social activist Leena Kejriwal. She said, “Easy access to internet and smart phones is making India one of the biggest consumers of pornography. I think the investigating officers should also probe this angle. Kejriwal, who works to combat human trafficking added, “With the rise in violence in all public spaces in India and specially in schools, it is about time the government try and understand the root cause of it. There is apparently a big upheaval going on in the behaviour of men and boys and we should try and understand what are the causes so that there can be awareness on the causes and the horrific effects they are having.”

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