Aakriti vs Shanno

Two incidents in two schools happened recently, leading to the death of two girls. One died due to the alleged lack of medical attention and other, due to an alleged punishment that went too far. Both received due media attention but it is the first case which evoked the candlelight protests and visits from politicians.

Aakriti was a 17 year-old student of Modern school who died of an asthma attack, and her parents allege that it is the school's untimely response which killed her. The media hype was enough to have Sheila Dixit and Renuka Chowdhury visit Aakriti's parents. Now, the parents are planning to take the case to court.

On the other hand, Shanno was an 11 year-old child studying in a nondescript school who belonged to a poor family who could hardly make ends meet. She clearly died from brutal punishment at the hands of a teacher who has not even been implicated so far. No one has come to Shanno's aid, and no one is taking up her cause - forget candlelight protests. Not wanting to send her siblings to the same school, her parents have instead admitted them into an orphanage.

It's not that I blame Aakriti's parents for having the muscle to create a noise, but what happened is unfair. The poor girl's plight has no takers, except for 2-3 days that it received coverage. Her parents don't have the time or money to buy a place in media. They don't have visits from politicians to show for it. Most probably, the teacher/school authorities paid off the doctors and police to make Shanno's death look like an epileptic attack. Even if she did suffer from epilepsy, did the teacher not bring it on with her brutality? But nobody will answer these questions, because nobody's interested.

As for the other case, reports lead us to believe that the school did all it could to help Aakriti and most schools dont have a doctor on location. She was apparently ill before joining school and her parents could have taken extra precaution given her condition.

Whether it's media bias or a reflection of our own prejudiced society, we knwo how this goes. The poor man's daughter has no sympathizers but the rich man's daughter has plenty.
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1 comment

Prasanna said...

You continue to have an eye for relevant issues...
My take: Shanno's case is actually much more serious than Akriti, because the charge there is more direct, specific and will affect a larger number of students.

Akriti's case unfortunately looks like one where her parents need to look within too, and their behaviour, especially putting forward her classmates who shout for the teacher's head has been really unfortunate. I really wonder how these people will feel about their actions a few years down the line. Because quite simply, it is easy to criticise in retrospect, but the school seems to have made sincere efforts to take care of her. What is shocking is the apathy of Akriti's parents to respond immediately, preferring instead to send her to her grandparent's house. And why blame the school for not calling an Ambulance? Do they really think an Ambulance would have definitely made it in the 5 minute window the school had to decide on action? I don't think so.

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