Magsaysay awardee calls upon teachers not to use corporal punishment to discipline a child
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Magsaysay awardee calls upon teachers not to use corporal punishment to discipline a child

February 6, 2019

Mysuru: To create awareness among the general public, Vidya Vikas First Grade College (VVFGC), Mysuru-Bannur Road, had organised a National-level workshop on the topic ‘Protection of Child Rights and Prevention of Child Abuse — Strategies & Prospects’ in collaboration with the District Women and Child Development Department. This programme was initiated by Vidya Vikas Post Graduate Department of Social Work.

Magsaysay awardee Prof. Shantha Sinha, Professor of Political Science, University of Hyderabad, who was the chief guest, defining who a child is, said the age is a debatable point and broke down the age factor into a child who is dis-empowered (0 to 6), 6 to 14 as the group for children and 14-18 as adolescence — but she stated all in this age group needs to be considered as a child.

She called upon the audience not to isolate the rights of children but to look at it in totality considering education, protection, health, child labour, etc., and said every right of the child is interlinked and equally important.

Narrating extensively on gender inequality that is prevalent in our society even to this day, Prof. Shantha, who is also the founder of Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiya Foundation, cited specific instances of how parents mistreat children thinking it to be a correction that has severe psychological impact on a child.

An anti-child labour activist of international repute, Prof. Shantha called upon teachers not to use corporal punishment to discipline a child and said only love and forgiveness should be the measure to groom a child.

“If corporal punishment had to be the strategy for correction then why not they be included  in the syllabus,” she asked and reminded the adults that they have a responsibility towards the growth and capacity-building of a child.

Deputy Director of Women and Child Development Department K. Padma and Director of Women and Child Development Kamala also emphasised on the need to use their profession to protect child rights and prevent child abuse.

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A number of government officials associated with this programme were felicitated by Vidya Vikas Educational Trust Secretary V. Kaveesh Gowda.

He called upon all the participants to stop discriminating between children as happens within the family where the children have age gap of 2 years or more presuming that elder child is better than the younger. He lauded the Anganawadi, AASHA workers and Government School teachers for the excellent service they render in protecting child rights and preventing child abuse.

Director (Academics) Dr. Michael Noronha gave a bird’s eye view of the topics covered. Dr. Mujeeda Banu, Principal, VVFGC, welcomed. Dr. VST Krishna, HoD, PG Department of Social Work, VVFGC, proposed a vote of thanks.

The technical sessions were conducted by Dr. Kavitha Jangam, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, who spoke on the term ‘Abuse’ — its forms, severity, modes of identification and psychological state of a child; Sujatha, Dy. Director Prosecution, Police Training Academy, on ‘Role of family in current turbulent times to secure protection of children’; Prasanna, Head Constable, Juvenile Justice Police, on ‘Proactive measures of child rights protection with live case studies’;  A.S. Srinivas Raj Urs, Law Officer, on ‘Prevention and protection of children from child marriages and other abuses.’ The final session was by M.K. Kumaraswamy, DCPO, who spoke on ‘Schemes by the Government and contact details for help.’

Kumar, Faculty, VVFGC,  proposed a vote of thanks at the valedictory of technical session.

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