It's officially banned, but ragging continues to rear its ugly head at educational institutions across the country. In a horrific case in the national capital, a first-year architecture student at the renowned School of Planning and Architecture was allegedly ragged so severely by his seniors that he reportedly cannot walk without support, even after four months of treatment. His knees may have suffered permanent damage. He now needs to undergo a surgery to help him get back on his feet.
In his complaint, the architecture student has stated that he was made to do sit-ups and push-ups by his seniors at the college hostel through the night of September 2, 2012.
"They put three bricks on my back and made me do push-ups for very long. Then, they gave me two bricks in my hands and warned me against bending my hands. They made me do at least 1,000 sit-ups. When I woke up the next morning, my leg was swollen," he said, recounting his agony.
Though the incident occurred in September, an FIR was lodged only four months later, on December 30, after the boy's father - a resident of Ranchi - approached the Jharkhand High Court. He says he had to do this after repeated complaints to college authorities failed to elicit any response.
The college administration says that though it received the student's complaint back in September, it couldn't take action because he had not named anyone.
"Both his leg and his studies have been affected. What can we expect from the college authorities; how will they help us now?" asks the boy's distraught mother.
The Supreme Court has laid down strict guidelines forbidding ragging and making it a punishable offence. Colleges and universities have tried to put in place mechanisms to prevent and redress incidents of ragging. But, the sad reality is that newly enrolled students in India's colleges continue to be harassed with impunity by senior students.