SCHOOL BULLYING AND RAGGING

11 Jan 2022

Curtain Hug

‘Bullying’ has been described as, the behavior of a person which hurts or harms someone less powerful or making someone do something, that they do not wish to do, usually it is done intentionally.

History-
The word ‘Bully’ was first used in the 1530s meaning ‘sweetheart’. The meaning thereafter changed through the 17th century to ‘Harasser of the weak’.

Types of bullying-
Individual bullying- A ‘Single’ person who causes harm through any means to another person or persons is known to be an individual bully. This type can be further divided into four categories:
Physical- This type means to bully someone by hurting them physically or destroying/harming their possessions. For e.g.- stealing, hitting, destroying property etc.
Verbal- It is the most common type of bullying; this is done by speaking or by use of voice to bully a person. For e.g., laughing at someone, bad-mouthing (saying bad words) etc.
Relational- This is the most hidden form of bullying. It uses relationships to hurt others.
Cyber bullying- Bullying someone with the use of technology. For e.g., calling, texting (SMS), Facebook etc.
Collective- This means, when more than one individual bully someone intentionally. It is also often called ‘Mobbing’ and can include any of the above-mentioned types of bullying.

What is school bullying?
As explained above, all the types of bullying taking place in and outside of a school is known as school bullying. But the context, the behavior cannot be considered bullying, if it happens more than once, and can be seen repetitively, then it can be considered as bullying.

Who are the victims of school bullies?
Children with disabilities,
Children belonging to LGBTQI community,
Children belonging to financially weaker sections of the society,
Children with single parents (Mother/Father),
Children of Divorced/widowed parents.

How to combat/stop bullying?
Education- As we know education can act as a medium of overcoming every barriers. It acts as the same in this case. The education of parents & teachers can collectively result in either adoption of bullying behavior by the student or not, so it should be ensured that parents and teachers provide the right education to their children.
Intervention in the use of Technology by parents- The use of technological devices by the children should be limited to reduce the risk of cyber bullying.
Security devices at school- The schools should install security devices like cameras, to ensure safety of children in and around the school.
Physical security- Appointing appropriate number of guards at the gates and inside the school premises to ensure intervention when and if needed.
Child counselors- Child counselor/psychologists should be available in every school to ensure intervention, rehabilitation and support when required.

Ragging-
It is similar to bullying, but the difference between the two is, ragging takes place in ‘Higher educational institutions’ (Colleges). It is often called as a ‘Ritual’ (Reeti/Rivaaz) for welcoming the new comers in the college. It is easily recognizable unlike bullying.
It is usually thought to increase the friendship between the new-comers and the senior students.
In India, especially medical colleges are said to hold a history of ragging as shown in the movie “3 Idiots”.

Laws & Acts to stop ragging in India-
The Indian Penal Code (IPC) [Sections 294, 323, 324, 325, 326, 339, 340, 341, 342, 506].
UGC Regulations on curbing the menace of Ragging in higher educational institutions, 2009.
Other Institutional specific regulations.
Anti- Ragging committees and squads to keep control of such activities.

How should we combat the existing practice of ragging?
Setting up of Anti-ragging committees in all the higher educational institutions in the country.
By creating awareness about the anti-ragging helpline contact numbers (1800 180 5522) in all the educational institutions.
By encouraging students to put anonymous complaints who have suffered or are suffering ragging in or around the premises of the institute.
Quick actions should be taken against the accused once authentic and adequate proofs have been found.
Parents need to look out for signs of problematic behavior/changed behavior in their children to be able to seek help for them if required or take action as corrective measures if the need be.
NGOs should be a part of anti-ragging system so as to provide rehabilitation and support to the ones in actual need of it.

-By SMRIDHI NANGIA
Content Writer
Social Journal