In a deeply troubling incident, a female student from Ramadevi Higher Secondary School (Junior College) has come forward with allegations of severe ragging at the hands of her hostel roommates. The distressing situation came to light recently when the aggrieved student penned a five-page letter addressed to the State School and Mass Education Department, imploring them to intervene and ensure justice prevails.
Institutional Response and Accountability in Ragging Incidents
In her letter, the girl recounted a distressing narrative of being subjected to relentless ragging and mental torment by her roommates. The ordeal she described was nothing short of horrifying – her roommates allegedly hurled casteist slurs at her, coerced her into watching explicit and inappropriate videos, and even forced her to wear shorts at night. The alleged incidents paint a stark picture of the mental and emotional trauma she endured.
What makes this situation even more disheartening is that the girl, in a desperate bid for help, had initially approached the college authorities with her complaints. However, her pleas appeared to have fallen on deaf ears as she reported receiving no relief or support in the face of her distress.
In response to her heartfelt plea for justice and intervention, the State School and Mass Education Department swiftly acted, forwarding the case to the Director of Higher Secondary Education for a comprehensive inquiry. The department seeks a factual report to be furnished at the earliest to ascertain the veracity of the allegations and take appropriate action against those responsible.
Challenges in Eradicating Ragging and the Role of Educational Institutions
At this juncture, the reaction and stance of the college authorities in this matter remain undisclosed. It is vital that educational institutions prioritize student welfare and safety and take a proactive role in addressing issues of ragging and harassment.
Ragging, despite concerted efforts to eradicate it, continues to plague educational institutions in Odisha. The State Government has consistently reminded higher education institutions to establish and enforce stringent anti-ragging measures within their campuses. However, Odisha consistently ranks among the top five states in India with the highest number of reported ragging cases, indicating a persistent issue that demands attention and resolution.
A helpline dedicated to combating ragging in educational institutions (1800-180-5522) has recorded a distressing tally of complaints in Odisha. From April 1, 2022, until the present date, a total of 68 complaints regarding ragging have been registered in various colleges across the state. Alarmingly, three of these cases were classified as serious, culminating in the tragic loss of life through suicide. These tragic incidents occurred within the premises of BJB Autonomous College, Bhima Bhoi Medical College in Balangir, and Government Polytechnic in Jajpur.
Among the remaining 65 reported cases, the majority of 22 emanated from technical colleges under the Biju Patnaik University of Technology, reflecting a distressing prevalence of the issue. Further compounding the problem, MKCG Medical College alone accounted for 13 of the reported cases. These complaints were lodged across various boards, including the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), and Medical Council of India (MCI).
The distressing and pervasive nature of ragging in Odisha underscores the urgent need for educational institutions and authorities to redouble their efforts in combatting this deeply ingrained problem and ensuring the safety and well-being of students.