Youngsters call for ragging-free campus
After a brief pause in cases of ragging, a shocking incident has hit the headlines in the capital again. According to recent reports, a 22-year-old student from the prestigious School of Planning and Architecture was made to do push-ups with bricks on his back for one whole night. Doctors now say that he may not be able to walk again.
In spite of stringent laws, innumerable anti-ragging campaigns and extensive media coverage, ragging cases are recurrent and the recent incident has shocked city youngsters, who are calling for stern measures to curb the menace.
Delhi University student, Prerna Gautam, 23, recalls how she refused to “dance like Bipasha Basu” on the first day of her college. “My seniors threatened to be back another day and this nightmare continued for weeks,” she says. Prerna complained to the hostel warden, but was shocked at her reply. “Just tolerate it and it will die down. Don’t make an issue or it will only get worse for you,” suggested her warden.
Sachin Dixit, 24, engineering student didn’t want to dance, propose to a girl, or spout a dialogue from a movie. But, he couldn’t dodge for long. “My seniors commanded, ‘For a week, every time you are spotted in the campus, you will have to walk with head bowed down and you should be looking at your shoes’,” he says. “I still shiver at the thought of that ugly phase,” he says.
Another student, Asad, 22 and his friends had to write assignments for their seniors, get them xeroxed, bind them into booklets and submit them before a deadline. “This exhausted my entire pocket money and I couldn’t share this with my parents,” he says. Rajendra Kachroo, father of late Aman Kachroo and founder of amanmovement.org, site against ragging says, “Unless the administration takes a strong stand on the issue of ragging, this menace can’t be curbed.”
Activist Ajay Govind, who works with Society Against Violence in Education, says, “Police patrolling in colleges takes place only at day time but ragging takes place in hostels openly at night.”
Talking about the role of the popular media, Ajay adds, “Recently Cadbury brought out an TV advertisement showing freshers being ragged. We complained to the Advertising Standards Council of India and it was banned immediately.”
Talking about the measures taken by educational institutions, Dr V.K. Kawatra, principal, Hansraj College says, “Students are made to sign anti-ragging oaths. Raids are also conducted in hostels at night.” Some names have been changed to conceal the identities of the sources