Tuesday, July 21, 2009

12 ragging deaths during last academic session

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 20

Coalition for Uprooting Ragging from Education (CURE), a civil society group involved in students’ awareness, today said 88 cases of ragging were reported from India over the last one year - no change from 89 that had surfaced a year earlier.

Analysing the latest trends in ragging, the CURE, in its report released here today, concluded that ragging claimed 12 lives across the country this year; the number was 11 last year. There have been five reported cases of attempted suicides by students, tormented by their seniors at colleges.

The report takes note of the recent measures taken by the Human Resource Development Ministry to curb ragging and finds that the situation has far from improved.

Among the states that are the worst-hit, Andhra Pradesh, with 12 of the 88 reported ragging cases, tops the list. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh come next with 10 cases each.

In the last session, Andhra Pradesh reported 12 incidents of ragging, including four deaths and one attempted suicide. Punjab, though a small state with low numbers of educational institutions, has been consistently reporting high number of ragging incidents.

During the last session, Punjab accounted for 8 of the 88 reported cases of student harassment on campuses.

It may be noted that Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, the earliest states to have enacted anti-ragging law (the Andhra Pradesh Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1997 and West Bengal Prohibition of Ragging in Educational Institutions Bill, 2000), still suffer from the ragging menace.

“We believe that ragging is not just a law and order problem but also a social and psychological menace that can be eradicated through proper awareness and education,” Varun Agarwal of CURE today told The Tribune.

Another striking finding of the new report is that Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, which did not report any ragging cases in the past, have now started reporting the problem, with 6 and 7 cases, reported from the two states, respectively. The latest victim of ragging in Himachal was Aman Kachroo.

Kerala seems to be the only state that has managed to reduce cases involving the harassment of students by seniors.

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