August 7, 2016
Saltless food, cleaning the toilet, cleaning the cowshed and washing the clothes of other students – this is how the students at the Isha Samskriti are allegedly punished.
The Isha Foundation has been facing numerous allegations in the past one week, ever since the parents of two girls, Geetha and Latha, accused the institution of brainwashing and kidnapping their daughters, and holding them against their will at the Isha Yoga Centre. Although the girls had denied the allegations, more and more complaints have started to surface.
Now, two students, Kishore (12) and Kiran (9) (the names of both the students have been changed to protect their identities), have alleged today that the inmates of the Gurukulam-system based school are subjected to corporal punishments.
“They don’t give us proper education and only teach Kalaripayattu and other skills. But it is the punishments that are traumatizing,” said Kishore, who left the school in 2015, after his health condition began deteriorating.
Kishore’s father, M. Mahendran, a retired Police Head Constable, said that his son had to be treated by a psychiatrist from Coimbatore, as he had suffered severe mental disorders due to the way he was treated at the school.
“The children don’t know how to describe their punishments. My children are not the only ones to suffer. All the children are subjected for punishments and mental stress,” claimed Mahendran whose son developed severe aggression, and was advised by his psychiatrist to leave the school.
Mahendran’s son regained his health only after a month’s time of leaving the school. His second son, Kiran, was also removed from the school after he too complained of such punishments.
Mahendran added that he was able to get the fees refunded only after approaching the court. “I was able to do it because I was a policeman. But others could not do so,” he said.
Denying these reports, an official source from the Isha Foundation said that allegations like these were being circulated to defame the institution.
“Children here are treated with utmost dignity and respect. The food is perfect and we give no punishments. There is a team working behind these rumours to defame us,” the source added.
Meanwhile, VRP Senthil, who was formerly with Isha, had on Saturday accused the centre for enslaving the volunteers.