Security woes lead parents to train gun on authorities
Kolkata: The security arrangements of the reputed private school at Ranikuthi area in South Kolkata has come under the scanner following allegations of sexual abuse against two physical education teachers of the school.
Agitated guardians demanded resignation of the principal, alleging that the school authorities had turned a blind eye to the security aspect, despite a similar incident having occurred at the same institution three years ago.
"Three years back when a similar incident had occurred where a Nursery girl was sexually abused by a helper of a bus, we had requested for specific preventive measures from the school. The administration had assured us that they would install CCTVs to ensure safety of the students. But nothing has been done. There is not a single CCTV inside the school premises," said Samir Ghosh, whose ward studies in Class VII at the school.
Guardians complained that though it is a girls' school, the physical education and dance teachers are male. "There is a lack of female attendants in the school and no one keeps an eye on girls of junior classes when they go to the toilet," said Tulika Maity. The school premises remained tense throughout the day with guardians in a state of shock and nothing to boost security measures in the school.
"The school charges more than Rs 1 lakh for admission and more than Rs 4,000 a month as tuition fee, which is paid on a quarterly basis. However, security has been totally neglected," one Sujata Roy alleged.
Minister of State for Women and Child Welfare Shashi Panja said that such an incident had happened three years ago and now it has been repeated. "This is very serious. Teams from Child Welfare Committee have been sent to the school as well as SSKM Hospital where the child is undergoing treatment. Necessary action will be taken."
Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti, Chairperson of West Bengal State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBSCPCR) paid a visit to the school and made it clear that there was stark deficiency on the part of the authorities when it comes to security.
"The school principal could not provide any satisfactory answer as to why the school authorities sat idle on installation of CCTV at some locations in the school. They had told me that they had no information about the incident when the victim was handed over to her mother at 4 pm on Thursday when the school was closed. We will soon prepare a report and submit it to the government," she added.
The guardians submitted a deputation to the school authorities demanding CCTV surveillance at relevant positions in the school premises as well as school buses, special measures to avoid potential threat near the toilet area and empty rooms, as well as a guardian forum to check compliance of safety arrangements.