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Calls to TN government school helpline increase manifold after suicide of Coimbatore girl student

Chennai, Nov 25 (BPNS)

The Tamil Nadu government school education ‘14417’ has recorded a manifold increase in calls after the suicide of a plus two student of Coimbatore allegedly following sexually assaulted by her teacher.

According to the councilors in the school helpline, they are receiving around 600 calls per day while it was only 150 to 200 in earlier days.

The councilors said that most of the calls are regarding legal measures to be taken if sexual harassment takes place in school and both parents and students are calling in large numbers on a day-to-day basis.

A counselor who is with the School helpline no ‘14417’ since its inception while speaking to IANS said, “ The recent suicide of a Coimbatore girl after allegedly being sexually assaulted by her teacher has triggered the number of calls to our helpline. We are trying our best to give proper counseling to both parents and students and to remove their apprehensions.”

She however said that most of the parents are worried and regularly want answers on the legal measures to be taken if harassment takes place at school. The councilors said that this was a clear indication of the parents wanting legal recourse if something happens to their child in school.

The 24×7 school helpline has nine councilors who work round the clock in shift and generally, the calls are received by the response team. The response team transfers the calls to the councilors based on the nature of the case.

Response team will transfer the calls to the councilors based on the importance of the call and if it’s a sexual harassment case or child abuse case.

Councilors are of the opinion that another area where they get the calls are on the teachers beating the students and the cases are forwarded to the District CEO’s and councilors said that case by case is handled and if needed the education department is given feedback. This helps the department to get a proper ground reality on the mental attitude of students and parents and in the policies to be taken up by the government the feedback from the councilors are of much help.

Dr.  Vasudevan Ranganathan, a psychologist with a leading hospital in Chennai while speaking to BPNS said, “ Counseling is an absolute necessity and if students and their parents speak to trained councilors most of them are relieved and in cases related to legal recourse they are getting proper information which helps both the students and parents. The increase in number of calls is a clear indicator that students are having problems but they are resorting to scientific recourse and is a good sign.”