I received questions regarding the punishment given to the three girls (in Naitikta).
One could not understand why the story was titled Naitikta. Isn’t Naitikta doing something good to somebody? The second one found the story incomplete. They expected more to it. The third one felt that the punishment was harsh.
Naitikta is morality. We, as teachers, intended to teach the difference between right and wrong.
Initially I had planned not to tell what exactly had happened. But here it is-
Students were taken for an experiential learning session. These three girls had misbehaved in the past and had been scolded for the same. This is what happened this time which made us take the harsh decision.
- A little girl was travelling in metro with her grandfather. They made fun of how fat she was. She had noticed that she was being mocked at for her looks.
- While climbing up on the escalators, they pushed the emergency stop button.
- All students were asked to be with the volunteers in groups. These three girls walked behind everyone.
They laughed out at the girl when we asked them not to. They caused trouble to fellow passengers. They did not stay with the group. They could have got lost. Who would have answered their parents?
When I read Naitikta after receiving the responses, I too found it incomplete.
About a month after Naitikta session was held, I met the mother of two of these girls while dropping them back home. She asked me when they will be allowed to join back. She was concerned that they were missing out on studies. I tried to assure her that they weren’t missing out on studies as we had held interactive and art and craft classes only. We had made sure that nothing important was missed in the girl’s absence. Preparations were being done for Annual Day. She said that we didn’t care about their studies and they must have missed a lot in a month. I asked her youngest daughter to tell if we had taught anything new. She denied. But Aunty wasn’t ready to listen. I told her that they have been punished because they did something wrong. If we don’t punish them, they will repeat it. Other students might do the same in future. It is a lesson for everyone. To this, she replied that we could have beaten them up but not dismissed them from classes. I was taken aback. I looked at the other volunteer in a complete shock. I told Aunty that we can’t beat them to teach them a lesson. She closed the door on my face. The girls’ grandmother who was sitting outside the house told us that Aunty beat them that morning too. I repeated my answer. We can’t beat them. Infact, she should not beat them too. It is not right to beat a child. I talked to the door for another 2-3 minutes.
Now, I ask whose punishment is harsher?
It was seen that these two girls whose mother I met, had realized their mistake. They were asked to join back. They participated in the stage play of Annual Day and gave brilliant performances.
Read all the Mulaakatein here.