Form anti-ragging committee in schools, urge stakeholders

A Chennai-based freelance child and adolescent counsellor, VS Amala, says that possible cases of ragging and bullying begin at home and schools for most children. And if left unchecked, it can lead to serious concerns.
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CHENNAI: With cases of bullying and harassment reported in schools, educationalists and child counsellors urge the Tamil Nadu School Education Department and central educational institutions to introduce anti-ragging committees and encourage students to report and speak against the crime.

A Chennai-based freelance child and adolescent counsellor, VS Amala, says that possible cases of ragging and bullying begin at home and schools for most children. And if left unchecked, it can lead to serious concerns.

Amala explains, “Firstly, ragging is believed to occur only in colleges, but unfortunately that is not the case. There is a high possibility that the student ragging someone in college began exhibiting similar behaviour from school.”

“And the child could have picked up the habit from their parents or family members. Hence, having an anti-ragging committee will help the child rectify and ponder on his/her behaviour, thus helping the child in the long run,” added Amala.

She further goes on to say that in the case of the victim, the child will either get into a revenge mentality or withdraw from the social sphere. “Having undergone the trauma, the victim can begin inflicting similar pain to others or the victim can develop anxiety, hesitation to open up and socialise in the fear of past experience. But these issues can be prevented and better addressed with ‘active’ committees in place,” detailed Amala.

Besides urging for active committees, Amala insisted that the leadership roles of these committees should be appointed carefully.

Subsequently, education activist PB Prince Gajendra Babu said, “The safety of children can be ensured only if students are allowed to learn scientifically the purpose of life, the functioning of the human body, psychological development and more.”

“Hence sensitisation programmes on these issues for students, teachers and administrators should be held periodically,” he insisted.

Additionally, Prince urged schools to cover topics such as who is the bully, why one is bullied, gender equity and social equity as part of the syllabus.

Meanwhile, it is important to note that the TN education department has been taking active measures to address the prevention of crimes against children, which also include cases of sexual violence and suicides. And in the recent development, the department is also pondering introducing the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) to track, resolve and prevent targeted crimes against children at schools.

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