Stunts banned in Tamil Nadu schools

The move follows an event in which a martial arts trainer drove a motorcycle over the hands of students. The show, at a school in Villupuram, was stopped after protests from the relative of a government minister.


Authorities said parents of students had pressured the school into staging the event. The head of Tamil Nadu's elementary school department, K Devarajan, told the BBC that all 50,000 schools in the state would be told not to hold events which involve "risky stunts and practices".


Safety fears - It follows the incident on 15 July in which a martial arts trainer rode a motorcycle over the outstretched hands of students lying on the ground. Another stunt involved the bike being ridden over a plank laid on top of a girl lying on the ground.


The function was stopped by a relative of the state higher education minister who feared for the children's safety. "Though there are instructions to schools regarding safety of the students, such events sometimes happen because of overwhelming demand from parents," Mr Devarajan said.


Authorities say the students' parents had consented to the event He said that parents had insisted on the show. "They told the principal that their children had been trained in such martial arts," Mr Devarajan said.


One of the parents present told a newspaper that they had consented to the event. "The students offered to lie down on their own," S Ilangovan said. Martial arts are popular among students in India and many schools hold special classes.
BBC / 29 July 2009