A young class IX student, just 14 years old killed himself... the reason being his public humiliation by the principal.. the reason for that being his delay in paying his fees. Jatinder was the son of a driver who had dared dream huge dreams for his son and enrolled him in this school.
Public humiliation in front of his peers, and inability to sit for his half yearly examinations were too much for this child. He simply put an end to his life. Adults often fail to realise how fragile children's egos are and they revel in flinging unkind words not realising the damage they can have.One of the reasons project why began its curriculum support programme stemmed out of a public humiliation. It was in a principal's office that 6 class X boys were dismissed as useless gutter filth and sure failures in front of me. I saw how they cringed and shrunk and had I not been there to pick up the pieces I wonder what would have happened to them. To salvage their hurt egos I told the principal that they would clear their Boards. A challenge immediately accepted by my lads whose body language changed in an instant. The said Boards were a mere 2 months away, their classroom the roadside in the bitter December cold, their class hour: 7 am. But they came and gave their best and all cleared their examinations. Some of the boys are today in college, others working, one has even bough a car!
When young Rani who now is one of the pillars of project why was beaten in public for being two days late with her school fees and subsequently fainted, her illiterate but sensible mom stepped him and took the only decision she thought right: withdrawing her child from school. Today Rani has cleared her XII Boards while working with us and taking on challenge after challenge.Jatinder had no one to pick op the pieces of his hurt ego and probably felt that he had no other way but killing himself. probably he did not even realise that his death would have the aftermath we are seeing. He just could not walk back into his world both at school and at home with his head high.
Often adults take insensitive decisions without thinking of the terrible consequences they can lead to. My heart goes out to Jatinder who many may forget after a few days. I juts hope and pray that his death will not go waste and that over and above the arrest of those guilty, some laws will be made to deal with such matters to ensure that no child has to take his life again.
may he rest in peace!
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