He later agreed to bear the medical expenses after her classmates came forward and stated that they witnessed the incident.
A 10-year-old girl, who was beaten, allegedly by her teacher, has been ill for more than a month. The parents have blamed the teacher for the child’s illness. The Department of Public Instruction has suspended the teacher.
M.D. Pushpa, a class four student at the government primary school at Mudanakoplu in Holenarsipur taluk, was allegedly beaten by the teacher, Veerabhadrappa, on September 24. According to her parents, the teacher beat her as she had not done the classwork he had assigned.
‘Classmates told us’
The child’s father, M.K. Devaraj, who is also president of the School Development and Monitoring Committee, said that his daughter had been listless for more than a week (after the incident). “She did not tell anybody at home about the incident. But she was very dull. Only a few days later, her classmates told us that she was severely beaten by the teacher in the classroom,” he said.
Her parents sought an explanation from Veerabhadrappa. Though initially he refused to admit to beating the child, he later agreed to bear the medical expenses after her classmates came forward and stated that they witnessed the incident.
Mr. Devaraj said, “He agreed to bear the expenditure. We took her to a hospital in Hassan. But she did not improve. He did not bother to respond to our calls after the vacation began in October,” he said. “Now she can’t identify her parents or her elder brother. She does not utter a word except her name. She refuses to eat and is surviving only on water and juice,” he said.
Took to task
The parents, along with a few other village residents, took the teacher to task on October 29, when the school reopened.
In the presence of the residents and officials of the Department of Public Instruction, Veerabhadrappa gave an assurance in writing that he would bear the child’s medical expenses.
“We took Pushpa to NIMHANS in Bangalore [on October 29]. The doctors conducted some tests and said they required another 15 days to get the reports and start treatment. The teacher, who had come with us to Bangalore, returned home without taking care of the medical expenses. We too returned home as we could not stay there for 15 days,” Mr. Devaraj said.
The parents and relatives staged a protest outside the office of the Block Education Officer in Holenarsipur on Saturday demanding action against the teacher.
‘It’s clear he beat her’
K. Yogesh, BEO, told The Hindu that the teacher had been suspended. “It is by and large clear that he beat the girl. He has been suspended. The department has made arrangements to provide her treatment under the Suvarna Arogya Chaitanya scheme,” he said.
In addition, led by the BEO, many teachers and staff of the department have contributed over Rs. 11,000 for the child’s treatment. The parents have now taken the child to a private clinic in Shimoga for treatment.
The teacher could not be reached.