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MUMBAI, Sunday, December 04, 2005

  
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Vaibhav Randhir with his parents Prabhavati and Bhanudas at Rajawadi Hospital where he is recovering



Talking in class lands 12-yr-old in hospital


Boy was reportedly caned by his teacher, which made him collapse; he had to be hospitalised for swelling in his thighs and arms


K A Dodhiya


Twelve-year-old Vaibhav Randhir, student of the Premier School at Kurla, learnt on Friday that the consequences of talking in class could be very painful. The caning his English teacher Jaywant Kulkarni gave him for the offence has now reportedly landed him in hospital with swollen arms and thighs.

“Sir had gone out of the class and had asked the monitor to write the names of the students who were talking. Two other students were troubling me, so I went to the monitor and told him about it,” said Vaibhav. However, after the other students complained against Vaibhav, the monitor wrote down the names of all three on the blackboard.

On returning, Kulkarni caned all the boys whose names were on the board. Unable to bear the pain, Vaibhav collapsed. Thinking that Vaibhav was pulling another prank, Kulkarni let off the other students by making them do ten sit-ups but caned Vaibhav on the thighs and on his rear for not following orders.

When Kulkarni realised that Vaibhav had collapsed and could not move, he allegedly called in other teachers. “My thighs and arms, which Kulkarni had also pulled had swelled, seeing which, sir called other teachers and they started rubbing anti-inflammatory balm to reduce the swelling,” said Vaibhav.

Meanwhile the teachers sent some students to Vaibhav’s house to inform his parents of their son’s condition. “We were not at home, so our neighbour went and brought Vaibhav home,” said Prabhavati, Vaibhav’s mother.

Since it was late at night, Vaibhav’s parents took him to the hospital only the next morning. They then lodged a complaint with the Kurla police. “The swelling and pain did not subside and hence we had to take him to the hospital,” said Vaibhav’s father Bhanudas. “How can teachers be so inhuman and beat up a 12-year-old so badly.” Both Kulkarni and school Principal P G Nalwade were unavailable for comment on Saturday. A teacher claimed that Kulkarni had not come to school and that the principal was away attending a science seminar.

When asked about the incident she admitted that the teachers did punish students. But she denied that Vaibhav had been beaten. “The teacher punished him, asking him to stand with his knees bent and arms outstretched. He collapsed as his legs cramped. We tried to help him by massaging his thighs and when he felt better we asked students staying near his house to call his parents,” said the teacher.

“In the 50-year history of the school, nothing like this has ever happened before and we are shocked at the hysteria that the Randhirs are creating,” the teacher said.

Pointing to the black marks on Vaibhav’s thighs, his older sister Sheetal, who also studied at Premier School said, “When I was in school, the teachers did not resort to such harsh beating. Of course, they did use the cane occasionally, and I myself had got a few. But since Kulkarni joined eight years ago, such beatings have increased and my brother is now suffering the consequences.”


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Subsequent to the notices issued by the Mumbai Police to the Publisher and Editor of Mumbai Mirror and in view of the sentiments expressed by some activist NGOs pertaining to the contents in the November 12- 18 issue of Mumbai Mirror Buzz magazine, we have requested the venders and distributors of the magazine as well as our own sales colleagues to stop sales of this issue, and to return the undistributed material back to us.

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