RAIPUR: A biology teacher of Raipur Kendra Vidyalaya has been accused of turning her class into cringe-worthy sermon sessions where she tells girls — in the presence of boys — that wearing revealing clothes “incites crimes like that of the Nirbhaya gang-rape” and “girls like Nirbhaya who are outgoing are calling for it”, reported Times of India.
Incensed, parents of these girls met principal Bhagwan Das Ahire on Monday and filed a complaint against teacher Snehlata Shankhwar. The principal admitted that students had written an anonymous letter detailing what Shankhwar says in class and how it makes them uncomfortable but it seemed so outlandish that he thought it was a prank.
The girls of Class IX and XI secretly taped Shankhwar’s ‘counselling sessions’ and shared the audio clippings with the complaint as proof of the ‘mental harassment’ they faced.
Warning girls against wearing jeans and lipstick, the teacher allegedly says: “Girls expose their body only when they don’t have beautiful faces. Girls have become so shameless, why did Nirbhaya go out so late at night with a boy who wasn’t her husband? It’s difficult to understand why an issue was made of this. Such incidents happen with girls in remote areas frequently. Nirbhaya’s mother shouldn’t have allowed her to go out so late at night.”
She firmly believes it was “Nirbhaya’s mistake and not the boys'”. “Girls who face such incidents are cursed and it’s a punishment for them,” she is heard saying in an alleged audio clip, adding that when boys see girls “doing it” with one person they assume the girl would “do it” with others as well.
All this in a co-ed school.
According to the parents, the girls told them that they feel very embarrassed to sit in class with boys when the teacher goes on and on about girls wearing skimpy clothes. “Ladki dikha rahi hai matlab ladke samajhte hai ki wo chah rahi hai, iski icha hai, iska chalchalan kharab hai (When a girl exposes her body, boys think the girl is available and she wants it as she is characterless),” she allegedly says.
A parent, Dhanuklal Sahu, told Times of India: “My child and her classmates felt extremely insulted when the teacher kept asserting her opinion in front of boys. They couldn’t take names in the (anonymous) letter of complaint as the teacher had warned them.”
Infuriated, a large group of parents went to the school on Monday to complain to the principal. Ahire told reporters that he did receive an anonymous complaint on January 25 about the behaviour and comments of the biology teacher. After the parents met him, he said he would order an inquiry after they file a written complaint. He informed officials of the KV Sangathan about the complaint.
Sangathan assistant commissioner Venkateshwarlu said that he has sought a detailed report from the principal and will comment only after reading the report. Sahu said that the parents have asked the principal to take action within 24 hours. “Otherwise, we’ll approach the education minister, collector and police,” he said.
Story first published: 30th January 2018