Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Student volunteers take up case against ragging

Jatin Anand, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, October 11, 2009

There was something different about the screening of Anarth: In the name of Education by CURE (the Coalition to Uproot Ragging from Education) at Delhi Public School, R.K Puram, on Sunday.

The 30-minute film and the hour-long interaction after it did more than merely condemn the practice, providing figures about ragging-related deaths and legislative punishments related to the offense.

It was an attempt by members of the student community to sensitise civil society about the psychological and emotional after-effects that students suffer from because of physical and sexual oppression in the guise of ragging at the hands of their seniors.

“There are thousands of students who suffer silently; they are helpless and never come out in the open. This film is an effort to bring this suffering to the notice of the society,” said Varun Aggarwal, Co-founder, CURE.

“I think it is a big step that the students have taken to educate the society about this menace through this film,” he said.

Created by three student volunteers from the Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, the film was based on the interviews of two victims who described what they went through during their first years in a medical college, before drawing parallels with the kind of abuse faced by their friends at other colleges.

In addition to questioning why ragging still existed and what restricted freshers from reporting abuse to college authorities, the gathering also attempted to address the retributive character of ragging.

“It’s a vicious cycle and fits many parameters of the dreaded Stockholm Syndrome,” said Harsh Aggarwal, CO-founder, CURE. “In most cases, not only has the victim has turned into the perpetrator but also ended up respecting the latter as a result of sustained abuse.”

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