Flix Sunday, May 24, 2015 - 05:30
A Bengaluru mother has alleged that a city play school, where her daughter is enrolled, allowed a male staff to violate and cause discomfort to her child.    Nitya Shivraman has alleged through a Facebook post that "Monkey Maze", a playschool in Indira Nagar, let a watchman accompany her daughter to the toilet, where he even washed her.    The incident came to light when the child told Nitya that she hated the playschool and did not want to go there anymore. On further prodding, Nitya claims she pieced together what took place in the school.   According to Nitya, her daughter wanted to go to the toilet and she approached a teacher “who was busy talking on the phone”. The teacher directed the watchman to take her to the toilet instead.   The watchman, Nitya wrote, made her daughter “stand on a normal western toilet where he watered his hands and cleaned her private areas many times.” Her daughter told her that she was made to feel very “uncomfortable”.   “This is a violation to me. This is a violation of my trust that my child would be protected, not given as an opportunity for some unknown man to molest,” she wrote.   Anitha Garimella, who described herself as “the person who runs Monkey Maze”, apologised for the incident through a comment on Nitya’s post. Garimella said that the centre was short on staff that day due to some emergencies, which is why they asked the watchman to take the girl to the toilet.   She stated that the watchman, who is in his sixties, has a clean track record and that he “proceeded to clean her in the way he knew best.”   Accepting that the school “endangered the child in letting the watchman clean her”, Garimella wrote, “Please note there was NO other violation of the child. Her daughter felt uncomfortable because he was a stranger. He is not a paedophile.”   The centre, she added, will be closed for sometime as they are moving to a different place next week.   The post which has been shared over 600 times has gathered a lot of traction with people, including parents, voicing their anger and concerns over the incident, with some even suggesting Nitya to take legal action against the school.   Read Nitya Shivraman's entire post here.   Dear Moms, Please read if you have heard of Monkey Maze in Indranagar. Please read if you have a child. Inertia is a disease of our culture. We are inert because of hopelessness, misplaced shame, and basically a lack of self worth. Inertia almost quietened my voice, however a deep betrayal would not allow itself to be buried. This betrayal was to a child. This child I trusted to a summer camp. I expected her to be treated kindly and with respect. Most of all I knew she would be safe and I hoped she would have fun while I was able to steal time for other things.  She was not safe there. She's only four and luckily I was able to piece together our conversation to understand that she was betrayed. Me: darling, what are you going to make tomorrow? Are you enjoying all the crafts at Monkey Maze? Her: I hate Monkey Maze and I don't want to go there anymore. I came to understand that earlier at Monkey maze in Indranagar, she had to go to the bathroom. When she told her "teacher" that she had to go, the teacher who was busy talking on the phone, called in the male watchman to take the little girl all the way upstairs and far on the opposite side of a large hall to the bathroom where he proceeded to make her stand on a normal western toilet where he watered his hands and cleaned her private areas many times. That's all she could tell me except that she was made to feel very uncomfortable and that her panties were fully wet. She told me that afterwards she just sat alone until it was time to get picked up. The best I could hope for is that this was a disinterested old man who resentedly did this onerous job and left back to his post. But even this is a violation to a little girl.  This is a violation to me. This is a violation of my trust that my child would be protected, not given as an opportunity for some unknown man to molest. The excuses? The maid has not been coming, I was busy on the phone, the proprietress has a sick father... The owners are making money, hand over fist. Money we are throwing at them for trust that our kids will be safe, if not entertained. And when we are violated the owner is not bothered to answer her phone when called. She did not show up to meet me when she herself requested to talk to me about the problem, offering her "sincere" apologies.  Is it okay that when we are not looking the caregivers of this prominent place in Indranagar casually violate the trust of the smaller voiceless children? It's not okay to me. It's a terrible thing they did to my trust and mostly to my little girl. Maybe to yours too. They missed the gravity of their mistake. They should have trained their staff better. They should have prioritized the safety of their wards. They should have enough staff to help the children they are responsible for to do basic things like eat or use the bathroom. They should protect, NOT ENDANGER! These are small, innocent, voiceless kids!!! They should not have succumbed to the inertia that lets them get away with ignoring it, NOR SHOULD WE. For the safety of our kids we must not reflect the lackadaisical attitude of the very people who have VIOLATED us and ours.Wake up and stand up and do not tolerate this kind of treatment to our children.  Monkey Maze and other unstandardized, unchecked facilities that are violating and disregarding hygiene and basic safety must be shut down. Standardization that is not another opportunity for corruption must be put in place, these are our children. They have a right to not be put in danger or made sick. We will not get what we expect if we do not inspect. And I will not just let it go. In fighting for my child I'm fighting for yours too. Now help me. Read Anitha Garimella's comment here. "Hi. I am the person who runs Monkey Maze. We do regret the incident, and what exactly happened was this : 4 of our staff didn't not turn up that day without notice. I want at a medical emergency with my father that morning. Little M asked one of my staff girls to go the loo when she had 5-6 kids to attend to. As she was in the middle of an activity, she called the watchman and asked him to take her to the loo. The loo downstairs is out of order. So he took her to the loo upstairs. There was an activity happening on the same floor with a female present. The little girl pooped in the toilet. The watchman, an older man in his 60s, who is the only male employee of Monkey Maze, and who has so far had a completely clean record (we checked with the agency), proceeded to clean her in the way he knew best . Please note there was NO other violation of the child. Her daughter felt uncomfortable because he was a stranger. He is not a paedophile. Nitya Shivram is a physician. She knows there was no other physical violation of the the child except to have a stranger clean her bottom. I agree we endangered the child in letting the watchman clean her. We did speak to Nitya Shivram in person yesterday and sent her a mail with the actionables that can be done to avoid such situations in future . I have apologised to Nitya, her Mom in person, and now I apologise publicly.    We are closing the centre to move to a different place next week. Keep it closed for all except for a few children already enrolled till we move.   Thank you for your understanding."  
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