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Film on corporal punishment
Published on 16 Jul. 2009 11:10 PM IST
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Beaten mercilessly several times, Samuel Venkatesen from Tamil Nadu has made a short movie on corporal punishment which he feels will help sensitise teachers. “I want corporal punishment to stop. I have gone through it and don’t want my fellow students across the country to face it,” said Venkatesen, 17, from Shoolagiri village in Krishnagiri district. Holding a Panasonic mini digital video camera, and a bag full of cassettes and cable wires, the youngster told IANS: “We need quality education. If a teacher cannot encourage students and boost their morale, then he has no right to beat someone. “I am a victim of my teachers’ whims and have been beaten up several times. I don’t want to talk about it. But my film speaks of the trauma of thousands who undergo corporal punishment in schools,” said Venkatesan, whose mother works as a maid to help him study further. The 17-minute film made by the confident Class 12 student is about a student who smokes in school and how his teachers severely punish him. “It shows moody teachers beating a student but the student never changes. He smokes more just to irritate his teachers. “What I want to convey is that beating does not help. Teachers must love and care for students and help them get rid of any problem - be it a bad habit or not doing a task in time,” said the student who was part of a three-member team from India in the recently concluded Junior 8 (J8), a meeting of students that took place parallel to the G8-G5 summit in Italy. Though corporal punishment is banned in several states including Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, the practice is still prevalent across the country. A recent case is that of 11-year-old Shano Khan, who died in hospital this April after being punished by her teacher in a government-run school in Delhi. Venkatesan, who was here on his way back from Rome, said though his film is a small step against corporal punishment, it has started getting response from hundreds of fellow students. “I have shown it to hundreds of students in my district and they are happy to see me portraying their pain in my film. Some of my teachers too have seen it,” said Venkatesan, the first in his family to complete school education. “I am making movies just to highlight the issue and draw public attention to a problem that is hurting students physically and psychologically.” Venkatesan, who wishes to study film technology, now plans to devote his life to improve quality of education in India. And that can happen only if corporal punishment goes.

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