Amid protestors outside of Vibgyor High in southern India, police arrested the chairman of the school where a six-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her skating instructor. The 30-year-old instructor, identified only as “Mustafa” was arrested after the police found child pornography on his laptop, reports Rama Lakshmi from the Washington Post.
The act allegedly took place in the school’s gymnasium during school hours on July 2. The young girl didn’t come forth until days later when she recounted the ordeal to her parents who filed the police report on July 14.
The parents are furious at the lack of security in the school, reports Hindustan Times. They complain that the school is being “insensitive” during this time. Some schools have even asked parents to sign a form that states the schools are not responsible for the safety of students during special events including field trips.
Neither school founder Rustom Kerawalla nor any representative of the school, has yet to meet with the girls parents. Kerawalla stated that school would resume to normal functionality on Friday which made the parents question management’s attitude, writes Shylaja Varma for IBN Live.
“I have not yet met the victim’s parents. I will be meeting them. I am waiting for the investigation to be over. The accused are with the police. We have discussed additional security measures, additional CCTV will be installed. Additional verifications of the staff will be done and more care will be taken,” Kerawalla added.
The alleged’s previous employer reported that they fired him in 2011 because of suspicion that he touched students inappropriately. A petition started by parents is demanding schools perform background checks and install surveillance cameras and has already received 150,000 signatures.
Sexual abuse has become an increasing problem in India. According to professionals who fight child sexual abuse, there are thousands of cases that remain unreported. This is due to weak laws and parents and schools remaining quiet for fear of a tarnished reputation, reports Pravin Singh for One India.
Unfortunately this is only one of several cases that have been reported in the past few months. Last month, the owner of a children’s boarding school was arrested on a charge of raping five minors. In March 2013, a 7-year old girl was raped in her school.
Greater awareness is need of hour to minimize the number of such cases. Given the environment where the culprits are either not traced or let off easily, laws will not ensure child safety. School and parents must put stringent measures to prevent their kids from such predators. Moreover, CCTV installations, training to ‘ayahs’ (maids), recruitment of counselors could strengthen safety of children in schools.