The 12th class student said he was beaten by two teachers with a cane, they even slapped him, and the principal had summoned his father to school the next day, and said he would be given a transfer certificate.
His crime, according to the teachers, was that he had scribbled a vulgarity on the desk at which he sat in the classroom. "The teacher said you admit it and we will close the matter. Otherwise we will call your dad. I was forced to admit it, after which they called my father. He was busy and did not answer. They locked me in a room and beat me. Then principal said, you come tomorrow with your father and take TC. You deserve to be on the road," the student said.
The meritorious student, who scored 87 per cent in tenth class and aspired to become an engineer, says he begged for forgiveness but they did not listen. So he went home and called his father and told him what happened. He even told his father he was going to jump off the building. Before the father could stop him, he had already taken the plunge.
The student's friend says teachers were always violent for various reasons. "If you come late, if you get bad marks, if you talk in class, if you don't pay fees on time, for everything the punishment is physical violence."
When asked why they did not complain or question, the student said "We used to be beaten in high school too. So I thought this is no different. And if we complained, we only targeted more."
His uncle says the boy had grown up distributing newspapers and milk packets to supplement the family income. The father insisted on discipline, so the boy was scared of him too.
"I would also scold him if he told me he was punished for some wrong doing. But punishment should be mild, not like this. I hope at least now they will have lecturers who don't resort to these brutal methods," the father told NDTV.
63 suicide deaths of students have been reported in Telangana since January last year and this alarming number has been blamed on academic and school-related issues.
Activists point out that it is a pressure cooker environment in corporate colleges that have turned into teaching shops geared to produce success stories at competitive exams.
Achyutha Rao, child rights activist, says just booking teachers for assault and abetment is not enough. "We are demanding the Board of Intermediate Education to close this school because if they cannot provide care and protection to the child, they should be closed," he said.
Psychologist Veereshwar Bandla says parents cannot be absolved of all blame either because the pressure is as much on the teachers to deliver results. "We can keep blaming the schools and colleges. But parents must also realise this. Parents want ranks. So teachers push the students to excel and get ranks. They have to deliver," the psychologist said.
The state Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the education department on the alarming numbers of student suicide deaths.
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