A sincere ‘sorry’ can replace courts to ensure justice

In a school in Bengaluru, every student from class one to 10 sits around in a circle for at least 40 minutes every week. The students have teachers sitting amid them, voicing their views and thoughts on any given topic. The talking points range from the idea of friendship to the students’ understanding of the concept of betrayal. But the discussion stays there, and the group vows neither to gossip about it nor ridicule the thoughts or ideas shared by fellow students or teachers.

The exercise, where everyone is equal and the circle an equaliser, is an attempt to build relationships and a sense of community among students. Popularly known as restorative practice, it aims to create an environment, where the community enables an individual who might have harmed another, to admit to the mistake, create a dialogue to avoid its repetition in future and make amends to the situation.

The example of the school’s community is just a microcosm of how the concept could be implemented to address petty crimes and provide relief to victims through community intervention.

Talking it out

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