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Episode 9 resources

Akshat Singhal

Akshat Singhal is a co-founder of The Gender Lab/The Blue Ribbon Movement (BRM), an ecosystem of social initiatives which builds leadership for a better world. Akshat has over 10 years of experience in the social sector engaging in the space of gender equality, youth leadership, environment, civic awareness, and social entrepreneurship. Within BRM, he is leading The Gender Lab to promote gender equality by engaging young girls and boys. Over 16,000 adolescent girls and 3000 boys across India have participated in the program with The Gender Lab Fellowship established for women 20-25 years old. Akshat was selected as one of the 50 World Economic Forum Global Shapers to attend the 2014 Annual Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Akshat has a post-graduate diploma in Business Management and a bachelor’s degree in Management Studies from Mumbai University.

Rohini Nilekani

Rohini Nilekani is the Founder-Chairperson of Arghyam, a foundation she set up for sustainable water and sanitation, which funds initiatives all across India. From 2004 to 2014, she was Founder-Chairperson and chief funder of Pratham Books, a non-profit children’s publisher that reached millions of children during her tenure. She is Co-founder and Director of EkStep, a non-profit education platform. She sits on the Board of Trustees of ATREE, an environmental think tank, and serves on the Eminent Persons Advisory Group of the Competition Commission of India.

A former journalist, she has written for many leading publications such as Times of India, India Today, Mint, etc. Penguin Books India published her first book, a medical thriller called Stillborn, and her second non- fiction book, ‘Uncommon Ground’, based on her eponymous TV show. She has written several books for young children, published by Pratham Books including the popular "Annual Haircut Day”. In 2017, she was inducted as Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Well Being Project from 2019.

Rohini Nilekani is a committed philanthropist and in 2017, she, together with her husband Nandan Nilekani, signed the Giving Pledge, which commits half their wealth to philanthropic causes.


  2. Corporal punishment is a form of violence against children and is illegal in India.

  3. Yet 80% of marginalised children report being punished by teachers, while an average of 43% said they were regularly beaten, up to three times a week, according to a new report by Agrasar, an NGO. In some schools the number of regularly beaten students rose to 88%.

  4. An estimated 65% of children are physically punished by teachers, according to a joint 2007 study by Childline and the Ministry of Women and Child Development. This figure rises to 99.9% of children experiencing corporal punishment at school when mental harassment is included, a 2009 study by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights found.

  5. Almost all parents (91%) approve of teachers using corporal punishment and use it at home themselves. However, this figure is likely to be higher, as parents tend to not consider “mild” forms of physical abuse and verbal harassment as a form of corporal punishment.

  6. Around 53% of children surveyed never tell their parents if they have been punished at school, undermining a “trusted relationship” between parent and child. This also means many children are internalising potentially traumatic experiences, with severe consequences for their mental health and wellbeing, the report found.

3. • Among children aged 8: over half in Peru and Viet Nam, three quarters in Ethiopia and over nine in ten in India reported witnessing a teacher administering corporal punishment in the last week. Younger children are at greater risk of corporal punishment than adolescents, with the incidence of corporal punishment at age 8 more than double the rate reported by 15-year-olds, in all four countries.

  1. • Violence in schools, including physical and verbal abuse by teachers and peers is the foremost reason children give for disliking school, ranging from over a quarter of children in India to over half in Viet Nam. Boys and children from disadvantaged backgrounds are significantly more likely to experience corporal punishment at age 8

  2. • Boys are significantly more likely to report experiencing corporal punishment than girls. However, girls are often at greater risk of forms of humiliating treatment and sexual violence, not addressed in this paper.

  3. . In Ethiopia, India and Peru children in government (public) schools were most likely to experience corporal punishment, but results were only significant in Peru.

4. The happiness curriculum in Delhi schools

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