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I fell in love with Armaan, after his untimely death. I know after reading the first sentence you might think what kind of person I am. But, I wont lie. This is the truth. Today, I feel that I know Armaan, I truly feel him close to my heart. Prior to the incident, I have never heard of him, never even met him.
He was my best friend's nephew. A 10year happy and healthy kid, who mysteriously died at his school(https://www.google.co.in/amp/m.hindustantimes.com/noida/class-4-student-dies-after-fall-in-gd-goenka-school-ghaziabad/story-iZLUc9xyWt2gKh4VKzZwtI_amp.html). When my friend shared this heart wrenching incident, I couldn't control my tears. Being a mum, uncontrollable tears rolled down automatically. Now, everytime I see his picture or see the you tube videos his parents have posted demanding justice for him, I cry.
We all send our kids to school. We all do tons of research before choosing the most perfect school for our munchkins. As parents, we struggle hard, work day and night, save as much as possible, so that our little one's gets the best education. Some of us even compromise and are unable to put our kids in a school of our choice due to the hefty fee structure. But, at the end of the day, we all want our kids to have the best of everything within our permissable limits.
And that is exactly what Armaan's parents did, before choosing G.D.Goenka, Indirapuram, for him. Sadly, it was the worst choice of their lives. The school has not taken the blame. For them, it was just an accident that lead to the death of a lively little boy. They did not even allow the authorities to investigate the death of Armaan.
But once, the investigation was carried out after much pleading and begging, it brought forward few shocking revelations, which I was totally unaware of. Armaan opened my eyes. I came to know about so many things, which I would have never looked into, if not for Armaan.
Following are the things that we often overlook while choosing a school for our kids.
1. As per the Supreme Court guidelines, a school building should not have more than two floors. Any school which is having an extra floor, is defying the rules set by Supreme Court and is doing illegal business.
2. As per Supreme Court guidelines, the junior classes should be conducted only in the ground floor, if not, a parent has every right to force the school to.
3. Only female teachers are to be appointed for conducting KG level classes.
4. The school should have a well equipped, upto date medical facility along with a good team of doctor and nurse.
5.In case of any injury, the parents should be informed immediately. These days everyone carries a cell phone, and the kid's I card has the contact details of his parents. So the parents are just a phone call away. (Most of the cases that I have read, the school informs the parents at a very late stage. And in Armaan's case only after his death. As parents, we have every right to know about our kids).
6. Construction work, if any, should be conducted only during the holidays. In case of certain immediate fixtures, the school should either declare a holiday or seal that particular area, as well as keep it well guarded, so that no student can loitre around. Sadly, G.D. Goneka, Indirapuram was under construction when the incident took place and students had to use the under construction area as a short cut to reach their classes. What happened to Armaan is still a mystery, only the poor soul knows what lead to his death.
(Please take time to read this newspaper cutting. It depicts how dangerous an under construction school building is)
7. Wet floors should be immediately cleaned and no students should be allowed to walk on a wet floor. As parents please ensure that your kid wears skid proof shoes everyday.
8. Any teacher, who has an offensive background, should not be appointed by the school. A proper background check should be done prior appointing a teacher. These days cases of sexual harassment by teachers have become very common. In case of any complaints filed by a student or any parent, proper investigation should be conducted along with police intervention.
9. Last but not the least, keep taking to your kid, ask them about their day to day activities, ask them where the cctv cameras are located, how good are their classrooms, visit the schools, keep in touch with their teachers.
Armaan lost his life, his parents are reliving his death every second. They are fighting for justice with no one by their side. After few days, Armaan's death would become a stale news. No one will care even to enquire whether the poor child finally got justice. Whenever, we read about a mishap, be it of any kind, the first thing that pops up in our mind is that, "Don't worry, this can never happen with me or my family." The probability of this happening to me may be one in a million. But, please don't forget that ONE. Armaan's parents are that One in a million, who today, are unable to cope up with the death of their 10year old. A little research, a little pressure on the schools, can prevent another Armaan from loosing his life, another parent from dying everyday, another parent from begging for justice.
I am neither rich, nor powerful. I am just a middle class woman. God forbidden, if something wrong happens, there will be no one by our side. We work really hard, to give our baby the life he deserves. So was Armaan's parents. Today they are running places, begging our law makers for justice. They have found a few helping hands, but are those hands strong enough to fight the money the rich owners of the school are paying to keep them away from the hand cuffs? Only time will decide. Sadly, our judicial system slacks, delayed justice is no justice at all. Time and again it has been proven that the rich and the powerful people cannot be touched by our laws. I pray that none of us have to see this day in our lives, but still the probability is ONE in a million. And you never know, who that unlucky ONE would be?
P.S. This article has not been written to hurt anyone's sentiments. Its just to create an awareness. I have mentioned just a few points. You can add more, it will only ensure our kid's safety. And, sorry for a really long blog.