The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued a letter on Wednesday asking to ensure that no child is subjected to harassment or discrimination in School on account of wearing a Rakhi, Tilak or Mehandi.

The letter has been issued by Priyank Kanoongo, the Chairperson of NCPCR, and is addressed to Principal Secretaries of School Education Departments of all States and Union Territories. The letter states that it is the statutory duty of the NCPCR to protect the rights of children and to monitor proper and effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act, the RTE Act and the POCSO Act.

The Commission states in the letter that over the years it has been observed through news reports that children are subjected to harassment and discrimination by School teachers and staff on account of celebration of festivals. "It has been noticed that schools do not allow children to wear rakhi or tilak or mehandi in schools during the festival of Raksha Bandhan and subject them to harassment, both physical and mental", the letter says.

The letter points out that corporal punishment is prohibited in Schools under Section 17 of the RTE Act, 2009.

"Therefore, it is requested to issue necessary directions to the concerned authorities and ensure that schools do not observe any such practice that may expose children to corporal punishment or discrimination", the letter tells Principal Secretaries of States and UTs.

A few years back, the Kerala Director of Medical Education had reportedly issued an order banning the celebration of Raksha Bandhan in medical colleges and the same had led to protests in the State.

Click here to read/download Letter