December 22nd, 2016
A very unfortunate incident has come to light from Kerala where ragging led to a student being hospitalised with kidney damage.
Two days ago, in a government polytechnic college in Kottayam, senior students forced the juniors to consume alcohol mixed with an unknown powder. This was followed by six hours of brutal physical exercises. Police reported that one of the students admitted to a hospital in Thrissur was on dialysis. After further examination, doctors diagnosed him with kidney damage.
Seven senior students were found to have ragged the juniors. Five were handed over to the police while two of them are still absconding. The police are investigating the case. In the interim, the institution has suspended all of them.
In another incident from Kerala, nearly 21 students were suspended in a government medical college in Manjeri in Kerala’s Malappuram district after being accused of ragging their juniors.
As per the report, the junior students were made to clean toilets and later drink the dirty water.
At least 40 students lodged a complaint about the incident to the college administration. The authorities took action on the students after receiving the complaints. The college internal committee will submit its investigation report to the anti-ragging committee, on Wednesday.
The internal anti-ragging committee also consists of the police and media. They will take action after going through the investigation report.
With many ragging related deaths reported in India, the Supreme Court made ragging a punishable offence in 2009 to be imposed in all educational institutions. The punishment ranges from a fine of Rs 25000 to rustication, debarring, suspension, etc. The school takes action based on the seriousness of the crime. Supreme Court also said in its order that universities/colleges provide wardens to guard accommodations where the freshers are residing. The entry of seniors and outsiders should be prohibited after certain hours to prevent such incidents.
Ragging or hazing started as a way for the senior students to get to know the newcomers in their institution. While harmless ice-breaking games are expected, the incidents have become uglier over the years. More so with students in hostels. The audacity with which these ‘rituals’ are performed is disturbing, to say the least. All the students, especially victims of such practices should be provided counselling. More sensitisation is also necessary along with strict checks and enforcement of rules.