“One day Niva's teacher hit her in class with a duster and the vice-principal made things worse by striking her with a bamboo stick. Niva was only 15 years of age and she was recently enrolled in Maryland Higher Secondary School. The humiliation the girl felt drove her to desperation and on 6th June she swallowed Metacide, a pesticide. She died a slow and agonising death six days later in hospital.”- This is the news published on Nepali Times, a fortnightly magazine.
Those are the words that I am very familiar to. Everyday in the newspapers back in my country Nepal have something like this as their cover story. This in Australia is called child cruelty and is against the law to commit.
Child Cruelty is an issue that is concerning everyone around the world. Let us take countries like my own for example. Back there, there are no laws preventing parents or teachers from beating their children, but in Australia these laws are in place.
Child Cruelty also refers to neglecting a child and not providing him or her with proper food and water. Child Cruelty in any form is inhuman and a charge is laid if you inflict unnecessary pain to the child. You are likely to face at least two years behind bars for any form of child cruelty. In Australia if anyone touches a child against the child’s will, they have committed a crime.
In Nepal, people believe punishing children is a way of making them scared to do something wrong and. There is a saying ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child.’ However, in my opinion it just slowly lowers the child’s self esteem which in no way whatsoever is a good thing to do.
But when we think it is an unlucky day here in a privileged country like Australia, let us think about children all around the world subjected to child cruelty.
(THIS SPEECH WAS AWARDED FIRST PLACE IN THE TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL CLAYTON NORTH SPEECH CONTEST)