"I've treated the ugly bruises and lesions"
A letter from Dr. Ali Biswas MBBS, MD, Mirpur, Dhaka, Bangaldesh, to The Independent, August 15, 2010

Dear Sir

My wife, grandparents and I love our three children (Amit, Ali and Maksuda) more than anything else in the world. We would willingly give our lives to save our children.

Dhaka corporal punishment had been a big issue in our family. Two years ago after one of our sons was severely beaten by a teacher, I confronted the Head Teacher. The teacher was sacked and it was agreed that in future we would discipline our children and not the school. This arrangement worked because he was a caring and understanding Head Teacher.

Many of my patients have not been so lucky and Iíve treated the ugly bruises and lesions.

Now, by the blessings of Almighty Allah, corporal punishment in schools has been abolished by law. I read in an English-language newspaper, however, that the man to whom the school pupils owe a great debt, Sir Frank Peters, predicts it will continue unabated without parental action. Sir Frank said corporal punishment is so deeply ingrained in the psyche of Bangladeshi culture that it would not be erased over night. ďMany teachers see themselves as task masters and high above the community in which they serve. In their minds itís their right to decide whether a child should be beaten or not. Some wonít be able to stop themselves.Ē

My family agrees and we feel it is up to all parents to take positive action by writing or visiting the schools and make their feelings known and circumvent assaults. Unless we are hypocrites, we owe that much to the people we say we love.

Dr. Ali Biswas MBBS, MD
Mirpur, Dhaka


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