Grow Plants As Punishment: Bengal School Opts For Eco-Friendly Measure To Discipline Students

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It was a little after classes resumed post the lunch break. A sudden uproar tore through the silent school corridors, as news spread that a class 6 student has tested his strength on a wooden door, breaking it down to pieces.

The petrified prankster is soon summoned by the principal. With bated breath, he enters through the dreaded doors and awaits his fate. He emerges a while later with a perplexed, but happy face.

So what was his punishment? He has to plant two saplings and maintain them till they blossom. The duration of his punishment lasts till the plants flower.

Bigger Offence Means More Plants

Almost all of us can recall being a naughty student at school and being duly punished by our teachers. Ranging from a few smacks with a cane to detention after school hours – school punishments have evolved over the ages ensuring a healthy environment for the students. However, Krishnanagar Collegiate School in Nadia, West Bengal, might have devised the best possible punishment in history – growing a plant.

No one has ever become poor by giving – Anne Frank

Principal Manaranjan Biswas believes students can be taught the true worth of something through creation, and planting a tree is the simplest way to convey that message.

In his school, if someone engages in a fight with a classmate or damages school property, his punishment is to grow a tree from a seedling. “Not only does this teach him to love nature and be eco-friendly, but it also nurtures the young mind with good moral values. The greater the seriousness of one’s offence, the more number of plants he has to maintain,” Biswas shares with Efforts For Good.

Reaction Of The Students & Guardians

The new punishment was introduced once the school reopened after summer vacation. “We are starting a green campus in our school premises. The punishment of planting trees will coincide with the upcoming monsoon months and help flourish the garden,” informs Biswas, an avid environmental enthusiast.

Grow Plants As Punishment
The green campus

The punishment has been very enthusiastically received by the students as well as their guardians. Principal Biswas shares, “Some guardians did express their concern saying this will not help control the unruly teenagers. But, once we explained how caring for a plant positively affects a child’s psychology, they gladly cooperated. We are also seeing some conscious parents urging their children to participate in the tree plantation even if they have not been punished.”

Some Other Innovative Punishments At The School

Corporal punishment is a thing of the past as the Supreme Court has long prohibited any form of physical abuse towards young students in the pretext of disciplining them. So, most educational institutions resort to detention, guardian calls and moral lessons to dissuade students from repeating their misdeeds. However, often these seem to have little effect on a student’s conscience.

In this context, the punishments at Krishnanagar Collegiate School surely stand out. Other than planting trees, the teachers often ask students to clean up the classrooms as a punishment for some misdoing or the other. Naughty students are also asked to make handicrafts, paintings or collages. Sometimes, kindergarten students are instructed to climb up and down the stairs and understand basic maths during their detention.

A peer-to-peer disciplining system also prevails where senior wrongdoers are assigned to discipline their younger counterparts. The results have been really promising in this case.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.

Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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