Wake-up Call: “I never want to go to school again” Shanno Khan (1998-2009)

cutest-baby-ever“If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”

Mohandas Ghandi, political and spiritual leader in India

Violence; the 21st century first aid kit. Whether we are examining the reasoning behind the war waged on Afghanistan and Iraq, September 11th bombing or an aggressive domestic marital feud between a couple, like the recent beheading of a New York based women; 37 year old Aasiya Hassan who was allegedly murdered by her husband, one no longer stands shocked at these fanatical acts of violent behavior. The subject of this article is yet another act of brutality; the culprit is none other than a school teacher; an honorable profession, which has now become synonymous with pedophiles, killers and kidnappers.

The current state of schools is fear-provoking; Sunday school teacher in California charged with the murder and rape of an 8 year old girl who was her daughter’s playmate, killers and pedophiles in UK applying to become teachers and most recently the 11 year old asthmatic girl in New Delhi who died after being punished by her teacher to stand in the scorching sun for two hours. It leaves you wondering; is it even worth procreating in such a stigmatized environment?

Shanno Khan, the 11 year old girl from New Delhi was a victim of corporal punishment, which is quite openly practiced in various schools across South Asia. According to a 2007 joint study by UNICEF, Save the Children and the Indian government, 65% of school going children in India have faced corporal punishment. Despite the Supreme Court ordering a ban on corporal punishment in 2000, the legislation has not been homogeneously implemented across all states in India resulting in a viscous cycle of infringement of children’s rights. Until such legislations are fully implemented and monitored periodically, children continue to be abused in schools on the bandwagon of discipline.

“I never want to go to school again”. These were Shanno Khan’s last words.

More than the threat posed by global warming and nuclear weapons; micro-level violence targeted towards children, such as pedophilia, corporal punishment, child trafficking, forced marriages, genital mutilation and child beggar abuse to name a few are the biggest threats to humanity.

While we are busy devising alternative energy sources to prevent mother Earth from deteriorating, the next generation is slowly weakening, its soul fading away. There are no excuses for violence against children; it is a global problem that needs to be addressed with the greatest urgency.

“Children are our most valuable natural resource.” Herbert Hoover, 31st U.S. President

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