The District Legal Services Authority has launched a campaign to create awareness among students in professional colleges about the ragging scourge. “The senior students should approach their juniors in a friendly manner and should not involve in ragging activities,” DLSA Secretary Kishore Jaiswal, the brain behind the awareness campaign, said.
With brutal ragging of a Gwalior student in mind, the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) in Nagpur has decided to curb the menace that threatens to take shape of a monster among student fraternity. Subsequently, the DLSA has launched a campaign to create awareness among students in professional colleges about the ragging scourge.
It may be recalled, Adarsh Kumar Singh (15), a student of Scindia School in Gwalior, was subjected to horrible ragging by a group of students. He has been admitted to Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in Delhi in critical condition. Three students of the school have been expelled after they ragged the junior student. However, the incident left a slur on the student fraternity.
The DLSA, as a part of awareness campaign to prevent such life-threatening ragging in future, conducted two successful programmes, one each in a Medical College and other at an Engineering College in the city. The DLSA addressed medicos from NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre and Vishwesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT formerly VRCE) for senior students of MBBS and Engineering respectively on anti-ragging laws.
“The senior students should approach their juniors in a friendly manner and should not involve in ragging activities,” DLSA Secretary Kishore Jaiswal, the brain behind the awareness campaign, said.
Even forcing a junior student to call seniors as ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ too comes under the offence of ragging, he said. Jaiswal, a Civil Judge in Sessions Court here said that the death of a Medical College student Aman Kachroo from Rajendra Prasad Medical College in Kangra (HP) after brutal ragging, had shocked the entire nation in 2009 and since then the Government has initiated strict measures to curb the ragging tendencies and prosecute the guilty.
The two programmes stressed on college authorities being vigilant and strict towards offenders of ragging. Former Government Pleader Advocate P K Sathianathan who is part of the DLSA team explained various provisions of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act 1999.
He informed that committing ragging is an offence punishable with two years imprisonment and fine up to Rs 10,000. Jaiswal and Sathianathan said ragging is a damaging form of interaction of seniors in college or school with juniors, newcomers or first year students. It is similar to but not same as hazing in the United States. “It is not an initiation. It involves insult (simple or suggestive sexual, sarcastic and even physical), running errands for seniors, and many other complex activities.”
Highly reputed Indian colleges have a wistful history of ragging especially Medical colleges. It has become increasingly unpopular due to several complaints of serious injury to the victims and strict laws regarding ragging, they said.
Ragging is now defined as an act that violates or is perceived to violate an individual student’s dignity. Following the Supreme Court directive, a National Anti-Ragging helpline was launched by the Government some years back.
Jaiswal said besides anti-ragging laws, the accused students can be tried under the various sections of IPC for wrongful confinement and threatening also.