School kids made to walk on embers, glass in Gujarat


Surat (Gujarat) : Some in tears and most in obvious agony. Students, only 10 to 14 years old, of a school in Gujarat’s Surat town were made to walk barefoot on a bed of burning coal and glass shards as an exercise in enhancing determination while parents and elders watched mutely, an eyewitness said.

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Talking about this exercise, the school authorities said they had been organising such and other events like river crossing and rope climbing as part of their two-day and one-night summer camp for over five years now.

District education officer K.R. Jhanjhuria has ordered an enquiry into the incident.

“We are looking into the incident,” he added.

According to an eyewitness, the children were in pain and many of them were both hurt and weeping.

However, none of the elders or parents present objected to the children being put through this ordeal.

Kalpesh Patel, one of the directors of the school, said that invitations had also been extended to children of other schools and their parents to join the camp.

“We have not had any complaint so far,” he added.

According to him a total of 126 students had taken part in the events and only one girl broke down before walking over the firebed and was promptly withdrawn from it.

“We give basic training in meditation and other self-confidence boosting exercises which build intrinsic strength,” he added.

He said the school gave the children training in the basics of meditation which helps them to complete these tasks easily.

Surat is some 250 km from state capital Gandhinagar.