Taking cognisance of the incident where a Class V student of Patha Bhavan at Visva-Bharati University in West Bengal was made to drink urine on Saturday last as a punishment for bedwetting, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written a letter to the State School Education Department, asking it to urgently initiate an inquiry into the matter. The Department was also asked to take necessary action and submit a follow-up report within 10 days.

“The report should indicate inter alia the information on points, including details of alleged victimisation and punishment accorded to the student in the case, qualification and training imparted to the warden and her capacity to handle children as a caregiver in a residential setting and methods of child participation in seeking information and feedback from children by the institution,’’ NCPCR member-secretary Lov Verma said.

The letter noted that “there was need to initiate necessary actions against the warden and other functionaries, if found guilty, and to ensure that the child gets immediate counselling, the cost of which will be borne by the State.”

The NCPCR noted, “In case any other commission, duly constituted under any law, has also taken up this matter with the State government or any other authorised authority, a copy of their communication may also be furnished.’’

“The Commission has been mandated under Section 31, Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 to examine and review the safeguards for rights provided by or under this Act and recommend measures for their effective implementation, inquire into complaints relating to child’s right to free and compulsory education and take necessary steps for protection of child rights act. In this case we have taken cognisance of the matter noting that if the child has actually suffered violation of her rights then the guilty must be punished,” Mr. Verma said.