When the reporter of Bengali daily Pratidin stumbled upon a teenager furiously taking notes in the emergency ward of Calcutta National Medical College, he was both surprised and confused. In his article, he recounts spotting the tenth standard student wearing a striped tee and track pants, clutching a notebook, nervously looking at a bawling child who had just been wheeled into the ward.
Later, on asking a doctor, he found out that the student was in the hospital as 'punishment' meted out by Kolkata's Juvenile Justice Board.
According to the article, an exclusive with Pratidin newspaper, the boy, a resident of Central Kolkata was speeding on his father's bike and consequently knocked someone down. The victim, the report said was not grievously hurt, but the police still arrested the boy for driving without a licence. The incident occurred two years back when the boy was no older than 13 years. Following the incident he was produced before the Juvenile Justice court where the judge decided on this novel way to teach him a lesson.
He was asked to spend a day in the emergency ward of a government hospital and present three 'case studies' from it. It was meant to make the boy understand the consequences of rash driving on people.
Spending the day in the emergency ward of a hospital, among injured people crying in pain and their mortified families, the court thought, would sensitise young boys like him to the consequences of their actions.
From an eight-year-old knocked down by a matador to a man whose both legs were crushed in a motorbike accident, the boy had a busy day yesterday writing and copying things down. He finally got his exercise book signed by the medical officers a the hospital and left.
You can read the entire story in Bengali on the Pradtidin website.