I participated in a theatre workshop last weekend where we were asked to depict scenes from our time in college. Out of the six groups, four depicted scenes of ragging. While a few scenes were humorous, some left me feeling rather uncomfortable.
What was meant to break the ice and help freshers ease into college, has over time, turned into a practice that borders on abuse, harassment, and even physical torture that sometimes results in death.
In a shocking case of ragging in 2012, 17-year-old Ajmal P M, an Aeronautical Engineering student from Bengaluru was set aflame. He succumbed to the injuries and died. In yet another brutal case of ragging, a student of a reputed school in the national capital was beaten by four seniors with metal rods. This student also died. All these cases stemmed from ‘ragging’.
Under the University Grants Commission (UGC), the government has imposed a blanket ban on the practice of ragging. However, several cases of ragging have been reported over the years.
In June 2009, a toll-free anti-ragging helpline was also launched to help curb the menace.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the anti-ragging helpline recorded the highest number of complaints in 2017, nine years after its launch. The helpline recorded 901 complaints in 2017, 74% more than 2016. This was credited to its increased outreach efforts.
In case you are subject to ragging or know someone who is, do not hesitate in reaching out for help.
It is useful to note that the helpline will ensure that the identity of the complainant is kept anonymous.
You can reach out and ask for help in the following ways:
• Call the 24×7 helpline no: 1800-180-5522
• Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Do remember that this is a genuine helpline. Therefore, it is important that only calls that need help are made. Frivolous calls to the number will only lead to delaying the process for someone who is in need of immediate intervention and help. Do not encourage or indulge in this vicious practice.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)