His flight from school ended in hospital
By Ketaki Ghoge
Indian Express Newspapers, July 23, 2003
Pune, July 22: IT’S a punishment 13-year-old Shankar Madne will probably remember for the rest of his life.

Confined to the hospital bed, the Std V student of the Social Welfare Department’s primary school at Kem in Karmala taluka of Solapur claims the severe injury to his left hip joint resulted from a thrashing by his school superintendent.

Admitted to the surgical ward of Kamla Nehru Hospital here, Shankar says he was being punished for trying to run away from school.

However, chairman of the school trust Abhimanyu Bichitkar says he has not received any complaint from the student’s family or inmates of the school. He said they had got information that the boy was injured while playing with other children. ‘‘We will look into the matter,’’ he added.

Shankar belongs to the Dhangar community and resides at Indiranagar here. He was admitted to the school set up by the Vithaldas Mandir Devasthan Trust for Vimukta Jati and Nomadic Tribes (VJNT) students in July.

Barely a week into school, Shankar says he felt homesick and uncomfortable and decided to run away along with his cousin. ‘‘I was caught and dragged back by the school chowkidar,’’ says the boy, adding while his cousin Dattatrey Mane was tied up in a room and beaten, he was thrashed by the school superintendent.

‘‘He beat me with a wooden plank. I was also subjected to blows and kicks and my nose started bleeding,’’ says Shankar.

His mother Satyabhama Madne says the school authorities made no attempt to contact her. Shankar remained in the same condition for three days except for some basic treatment , she says. He returned home when a relative staying nearby went to fetch him for a jatra.

The doctor says the boy is still under observation. ‘‘The X-rays showed no sign of fracture, but we are not sure. For the last two days, he has been put on traction and we can see some progress.’’

Meanwhile, joint director of VJNT, OBC and SPC at the Social Welfare Directorate H R Tikekar said on Tuesday they are yet to receive any complaint. ‘‘I just got to know about the incident,’’ he said. ‘‘If the accused is found guilty, he will be suspended,’’ Tikekar said.

Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the world.

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