The well-being and mental health of school children are put to the forefront in Kashmir, where corporal punishment and other forms of child abuse in educational institutions have been banned, with strict measures imposed on anyone who doesn’t respect the law.
“We have offered to train teachers across Kashmir’s schools in better and humane disciplinary actions,” explains Dr. Zaid Ahmed Wani, who heads the Child Psychiatry Center.
The circular issued by the Department of School Education Kashmir is imposing a ‘blanket ban on corporal punishment and other forms of child abuse’ across all educational institutions within its jurisdiction. The circular cites a report from the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences-Kashmir in which serious concerns have been raised about the “severe, long-lasting and detrimental effects on children’s mental and emotional wellbeing often resulting in fear, trauma, anxiety, and decreased self-esteem.” Corporal punishment – discomfort, distress, or physical harm, including hitting, kicking, smacking, forced ingestion, or detention in closed spaces – not only hinders the learning process and overall development but creates an atmosphere of fear and hostility. Any deviations from this ban will be met with severe and strict punitive measures, including rigorous imprisonment and hefty fines.