City Reports

Ryan International murder case: Rajasthan govt to frame guidelines for Jaipur schools

The government admits the issue of security needs urgent attention.

February 1, 2018, 2:35 pm

children going to school

Children going to school in the Walled City area.

Jaipur: After glaring security lapses came to fore in the Ryan International murder case, the Rajasthan government has decided to come up with guidelines to ensure security of children at schools in Jaipur and other cities of the state. A look at the current situation in the city’s school reveals why the issue of security needs urgent attention. Many of the schools have no police verification records of the bus conductors and drivers operating the school busses. Another major issue is the absence of female attendants in a majority of school transport vehicles. It is either a non-teaching staff or the conductor who helps the students in boarding and alighting the bus. This clearly violates the ‘no-touch’ guideline issued by CBI. The buses also lack cameras and GPS which is hard to understand in today’s technological world. It is a basic requirement which can help track any unforeseen activity. These buses operate at extremely high speeds in the city clearly violating the regulations. In addition to all this behavior of the staff is also questionable as time and again it has been observed that they use profane language in front of the kids. There is no feedback mechanism for the kids which means the staff can get away with anything. A study conducted by Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children (PCVC) - the child rights and protection wing of NGO Pratham - to understand the perception of children on the issues of child protection in seven cities, including Jaipur, reveals some shocking facts. The study reveals that more than 65% children are not aware of their rights, 25% have faced eve-teasing, harassment, verbal and physical abuse while more than 80% have been witness to cases of domestic violence. This leads us to an important question about the safety of children in the city’s schools. The study, based on interviews of 180 children in the age group 7 to 18 years, was conducted in 10 localities of Jaipur — Amagarh, Azadnagar, Bagrana, Nagtalai, Nayako ka Teeba, Painter Colony, Shanti Colony, Shri Ram Tilla, Sudamapuri and Swami Basti. It is also found that only 33% children are aware of their rights. In the year 2015, nearly one lakh cases have been registered for crimes against children. In Jaipur, there have been 56 cases against teachers in the last 3 years. There have also been 130 cases registered against schools and coaching centers operating in the city. The report by an international development group had highlighted the issue of safety of school children in India. A survey conducted by ChildFund Alliance in February 2017, showed that one in every three children in Indian schools feels unsafe. The report was released on the basis of the group’s study in 41 countries including India. The results of the global survey by ChildFund Alliance titled, ‘Small Voices, Big Dreams’, showed that the safety concerns of children included corporal punishment and bullying. City's schools need to have a serious look at these statistics and improve the safety regulations in order to prevent incidents such as the recent murder of a seven-year-old student on the premises of Gurgaon's Ryan International School. “The Rajasthan government will issue a guideline for all the government and private schools keeping in view the security concerns raised by the Ryan International murder case,”  a senior social and welfare justice department officer said. A student of class II, Pradyuman Thakur, was found with his throat slit in the toilet of the Ryan International School premises in Gurugram on September 8.

First published: September 14, 2017