VILLUPURAM (TN): In a shocking incident, a government elementary school in Villupuram district recently organised an event that exposed school Students of a govt school in Villupuram taking part in a 'bravery show', organised by the school to mark Cong leader Kamaraj's birth anniversary on July 16. It was meant to be a ‘bravery show’ but it resulted in gross violation of children’s rights, virtually putting them at risk of incurring serious injury. The show began with students displaying their karate skills. Then came the main event — a motorcyclist riding over the outstretched hands of students from class I to V lying prone on the ground, and later the bike going over a plank placed over a girl.
The incident has evoked strong protests from child rights activists, who want the government to sensitise the teaching fraternity, particularly those in the rural areas, on the basic rights of children. Ironically, the event was organised in consultation with the parents-teachers’ association (village administrative committee) of the municipality elementary school at Keezhperumpakkam in Villupuram on a day when a trust managed by the family of higher education minister K Ponmudy came forward to distribute free uniforms and stationery items. It was the minister’s wife, the chief guest, who stopped the school authorities from continuing their ‘daring stunts’. “After witnessing a couple of events, the minister’s wife directed us to stop the show. We abruptly ended the programme,” said parents-teachers’ association treasurer M Elangovan.
Headmaster Ramanujam, who took charge in December 2008, maintained that the event was organised with the unanimous consent of the parents-teachers’ body.