Child panel demands report in Visva-Bharati incident

July 9th, 2012 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) India’s apex child rights panel Monday asked West Bengal and the Visva-Bharati university to take action within 10 days in the incident of a class 5 student of the varsity school being allegedly forced to drink her own urine as a punishment for bedwetting.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) wrote to West Bengal school education secretary and the university and sought a report.

In the letter, it asked the respective authorities to provide the details of their investigations, besides asking for appropriate action against the warden if found guilty.

The incident happened Saturday when Uma Poddar, the warden of Karabi hostel of university’s school Patha Bhavan, found Punita guilty of bedwetting. She allegedly then made the girl drink her urine as a punishment.

The letter, signed by NCPCR member secretary Lov Verma, also sought information about the “Methods of child participation in seeking the information and feedback from the children, by the institution.”

It also directed that Punita should be given immediate counselling at the cost of the state.

While the NCPCR chairperson Shantha Sinha had termed the incident “barbaric”, the university officials have said that a four member fact finding committee has been constituted to look into the matter.

“It is absolutely barbaric. Not even animals can do this,” an outraged Sinha told IANS Sunday.

Incidentally, Visva Bharati was founded by India’s first Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and in his own words, the institution “acknowledges India’s obligation to offer to others the hospitality of her best culture and India’s right to accept from others their best”.

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