AP shrugs off notorious rag tag

AP shrugs off  notorious rag tag

AP Shrugs off Notorious Rag Tag, National Anti-Ragging Helpline, News of Ragging. National anti-ragging helpline says State registered fewer complaints compared to UP, MP and West Bengal; Anti-ragging cells in colleges averting ugly incidents.

National anti-ragging helpline says State registered fewer complaints compared to UP, MP and West Bengal; Anti-ragging cells in colleges averting ugly incidents.

The academic year has finally begun and the newspapers and news channels are flooded with the news of ragging. Many a times such cases, go unnoticed. Just to have a moment of fun and show their highhandedness, seniors harass the juniors. The harassment sometimes is so severe that the student has to take help of someone who can come to their rescue. Anti-ragging helplines come handy in such cases. One of them is 1800-180-5522 which is run by an independent NGO, Aman Satya Kachroo Trust.

The national helpline says it has received 48 complaints from Andhra Pradesh since its inception in 2009. “10 complaints get registered on an average in a year. Seven complaints have been registered in academic year 2013-2014. The number of complaints have more or less been constant since its inception,” said the call centre spokesperson based in New Delhi. Interestingly, AP registered fewer cases than other states – 446 cases from Uttar Pradesh; 292 from West Bengal; 239 from Orissa; 209 from Madhya Pradesh and 118 from Maharashtra.

Statistics show that majority of the cases have been registered from medical and engineering colleges and the seniors torture their juniors mentally, physically as well as financially. Although medical colleges register fewer complaints, they are more serious in nature. In 2012, 33 male students registered complaints while only eight cases were registered by female students. Whereas, in 2013, five complaints have been registered by male students and two by female till now.

Helpline’s functioning

Within 15 minutes of receiving the complaint, the trust forwards it to the head of the institution and the local police authorities through phone and email who are then expected to take prompt action against the perpetrators. The NGO lists all the complaints received and acts on them.

UGC has made it mandatory for the head of the institution to register the FIR with police within 24 hours. In 2013, a police case was registered under IPC 176 (failing to inform a public authority) against the Director, Dean and Registrar of a reputed college in Delhi for not informing the police and registering FIR within 24 hours of receiving the ragging complaint.

The helpline was launched following the Supreme Court’s direction. It was handed over to Aman Satya Kachroo Trust on July 26, 2012, as Edcil, the enterprise which had been operating the helpline did not perform satisfactorily. Prof Raj Kachroo took over the trust after he lost his son Aman Kachroo to ragging. The organisation requests the victims to share their names but it’s not made mandatory as many ragging deaths, like Aman Kachroo's, occur due to seniors taking revenge because the victim has lodged complaint against them. Students can file complaint on 1800-180-5522 or any time of the day.

Keeping in view the number of ragging cases in engineering and medical colleges, the colleges in city have started their own anti-ragging committee.

Colleges in Hyderabad have now become alert to ragging. Malla Reddy Group of Institutions, for instance, has 15 lecturers in its anti-ragging committee which is headed by Chairman who is none other than principal of the college. Each class has one representative. Whenever a junior faces ragging, he/she alerts the representative of his class. This representative then talks his/her counterpart of the class to which the ragging senior belongs to. They try to resolve the matter amicably and if it goes beyond control, lecturers are brought into the picture.

The anti ragging helpline number is displayed all over the college along with numbers of the lecturers who belong to anti-ragging committee. Freshers can call any of the numbers when they are in trouble. Necessary action is taken later. The lecturers at the same time do rounds of the college in lunch break and during the time when there are chances of seniors meeting freshers. “Students of MRGI have not faced ragging since two years,” said Surya Teja, campus correspondent of Young Hans and a student of the college.

At the same time Shadan Institute of Medical Sciences also has an anti-ragging committee. Management, lecturers, students and counsellors manage the committee. They hold meetings once a month and discuss various issues. Seniors are given holidays immediately after admissions are over to prevent them from meeting the juniors. They spread awareness about ill-effects of ragging and promote a healthy interaction among seniors and juniors. “This way, the juniors don’t hesitate to interact with the seniors. The college has not registered any ragging cases in five years. In case any student tries to rag a fresher, he is imposed with fine of certain amount. In worst cases, he can be jailed and also debarred from getting the degree,” said Tasneem Sabuwala, a medico at Shadan.

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