A review of NL Hafta by Shoor Veer Singh
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A review of NL Hafta by Shoor Veer Singh

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

By NL Subscriber

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Hi Abhinandan,

This is regarding the discussion about surveillance cameras in schools in the last Hafta.

Surveillance cameras are not the best apparatus to ensure the safety of kids at school. The idea that the only way to facilitate safety is to be constantly under inspection instils paranoia and mistrust in kids. And even worse, it argues for a surveillance state that devalues privacy. It’s also dangerous because it provides a false sense of security. 

Kids are most often hurt by people they already know and have chosen to trust. A large number of them are abused at home, by relatives, by friends, or by close family members. The best way to protect kids is to provide them with a support system. In most Indian schools, there is a dearth of counsellors, therapists, or any support system where kids can be open about their grievances.

Columbine massacre in America was recorded by all the cameras in the schools, but not one of those had the ability to prevent it, only a school and parents who took these grievances seriously could have stopped it. Indian parents hardly ever talk about any challenges that kids face at school other than grades. So, while this idea of CCTV cameras will quench the fears of many neurotic parents, I am sure it won’t make a big dent in the safety of their kids.

I just finished reading a great book called The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker, which explains how to accurately predict and minimise violence in all walks of life. I suggest everyone who is enthusiastic about not dying to read it.

Thanks and regards,
Shoor Veer Singh