Punjab government takes swift action as video of a religious cleric beating children went viral

The video that made rounds on social media initiated the debate about madrassas and abuse of children once again.

For the longest, religious seminaries in Pakistan have been a hub of physical and sexual abuse. It is only now that the topic has come under discussion and stakeholders are critically thinking the consequences through. Punjab government practically showed their seriousness with the subject and depicted that such behaviour is absolutely unacceptable in civilized societies.

The recent video which went viral showed minors being brutally beaten in a madrassa in People’s Colony, Pansera Road in Gojra, Toba Tek Singh. With physically assaulting the children, he can be heard uttering abusive words and cursing the children.

Here is the said video that went viral on social media:

In the video, the young boy can be seen completely numb and frozen, which shows that not only was he extremely scared, but also looked used to or accustomed to such beatings.

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Punjab government took notice of the incident and taking swift action, arrested the culprit, sending a clear message that such behaviour is unacceptable and the state knows how to protect its children.

Spokesperson of Chief Minister Punjab Dr Shahbaz Gill shared it on Twitter. 

The social media community has lauded the step and expressed the views that exemplary punishment should be given to him to set an example.

Despite the treatment in madrassas, corporal punishment is a violation of human rights and a bill was passed against it back in 2014. This means that corporal punishment is punishable by law but the cases are rarely reported to authorities for them to take any action. Another reason why schools get away with corporal punishment is that students are reluctant to report such incidents to their parents.

A number of child rights and health organizations have been working against this cruel practice but are yet to create a noticeable impact. According to research, corporal punishments promote aggression, antisocial behaviour and low self-esteem in children. It also creates an unsuitable environment for the students to study in.

Now, it is not unknown that the drop-out rate has seen a drastic increase since the past few years. Almost 22.6 million children are out of schools and those that do come to school are given such harsh treatment.

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