This is from Ode Magazine this month.
An all-embracing education
Students in Delhi hug each other every morning. The new ritual is Indian officials' response to an increase in student suicides. Some 4,000 students in Delhi kill themselves every year. The main reason is fear of failure, a common phenomenon in a country where high value is placed on academic performance. The daily hugging ritual - for children between 9 and 18 - is aimed at giving young people a greater sense of self-esteem.
A representative of the local education department told the Times of India (Nov. 30, 2006): " We have observed that there is an increasing sense of worthlessness among kids which forces them to take extreme steps like suicide. And this sense of emptiness has grown manifold over the years as there is no one to give them a good hug, which makes them feel how important they are in someone's life. We realized that each one of us needs a "jaadu ki jhappi (the Hindi term for "magical hug of love") to start our day.
Boys can only hug other boys and girls, other girls.
I am reminded of how in Sweden teaching massage to juvenile delinquents has dramatically reduced the crime rate. Imagine school days and work days begun with hugs. What a difference that might make in our world today.