Kolkata: Kolkata's La Martiniere for Boys, a 150-year-old school, is in the eye of the storm over the suicide of a 13-year-old student. Rouvanjit Rawla committed suicide on February 12 this year. Four months on, his father has registered an FIR against the principal and four teachers for abetting Rouvan's suicide.
"There were three or four teachers who were systematically humiliating Rouvan. Beating him, slapping him. I don't think that's acceptable anywhere. Rouvan was a strong guy. Very upbeat, very happy. He took it. But everything has a breaking point. He reached his point," claims Rouvan's father Ajay Rawla.
None of the accused teachers have been arrested and the school authorities are yet to comment. A team from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights visited the school and is investigating not just Rouvan's death but allegations that a school teacher deliberately failed a student, when the teacher's alleged demand for a laptop was not complied with.
"This cannot be just about Rouvan. There's a bigger picture for every parent out there. We have to make sure that our system is such that no teacher can victimise a child," says Ajay Rawla.
In February after Rouvan's suicide two 2 members of the school board had demanded action against the accused teachers. But they were promptly removed.
At a time when entire India is talking about taking education forward, the students of La Martiniere have found themselves in the spotlight because of a least talked about but most important aspect of educational reform, the teacher-student relationship.