TN: Six Dalit students allegedly made to clean toilet in govt school by headmistress

It was only after one of the students contracted dengue, that he revealed to his mother that he was bitten by mosquitoes while cleaning the toilet


On the charge of allegedly forcing dalit students to clean toilets in the government school in Perundurai, near Erode, Tamil Nadu, the headmistress Geetha Rani has been suspended. However, the police are on the look out for her as she has absconded.

As has been claimed, six fourth-grade Dalit students in a government elementary school were allegedly forced to clean the toilet and the water tank with bleaching powder. After the horrible case was discovered, the school’s headmistress was suspended in accordance with the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The police have filed a case under the Juvenile Justice Act and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. According to the inquiry that was held, it was revealed that the six students were told to clean the two toilets, one used by teachers and the other by students. Following this, the education department ordered the headmistress to appear before it, but she reportedly absconded. The Tamil Nadu police have initiated a search and arrest operation for the Headmistress of the government school as she is absconding.  

FIR Filed by One of the Parents:

The incident was uncovered after one of the victim students in the school was admitted to the Perundurai government hospital. According to the police, the student was diagnosed with dengue. While trying to ascertain how he got the disease, the boy revealed to his parents that he was asked to bleach the toilets by the headmistress. According to police, the child developed a fever after cleaning the restroom, as mosquitoes reportedly bit him during the task he was forced to do on November 21, 2022.

The violation, the mother says, came to light after her son had contracted dengue and was hospitalised recently. “When I asked him how he got dengue, my son said he was bitten by mosquitos when he handled bleaching powder and cleaned the toilet daily”, she said, as reported by NDTV.

“Last week, a parent saw them coming out of the toilet with sticks and mugs. When asked, they said they cleaned the toilet, and that the headmistress asked them to do it. 40 children study in that class, and most of them are our scheduled caste children. She has asked only our children to do this,” she added, as reported by NDTV.

The children’s parents have filed a complaint with the police. A case has been registered under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, besides invoking the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

As per a complaint filed by Jayanthi, the mother of a class five student, the “HM Ms Geetha Rani singled out only scheduled caste children to clean the toilet,” NDTV reported. 

A similar incident was reported from Tamil Nadu’s Tirupur in December 2021 where during a visit to the Government High School in Iduvai village, Chief Educational Officer R Ramesh came across several Scheduled Caste (SC) students of classes 9 and 10 who alleged that they were beaten and made to clean toilets and water tanks, reported India Today.


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