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According to the statement of the girl’s father, she had informed him about the harassment. He had asked her to return home, but she refused to come back, stating that she may not get another seat in a different college.
Trigger Warning: This deals with workplace harassment and suicide, and may be triggering for survivors.
“What do you want to become when you grow into a big girl?”
“I want to be a doctor!”
The answer pop-ups with a cute smile. This is a common dream among many students. A fascination with the profession starts at an early age. As time grows only a few still stick to reaching the goal. To finally be seated on the chair with the nameplate before them on the table that has the proud letters DR honoured before their name is a massive journey of hardship.
A student has to leave her family behind, stay in a different place and carry on with studies. Missing family to focus on education to finally touch the finish line. It involves an emotional struggle. In many households, though the student gets their admission on a merit basis, still the family needs to manage with the financial aspects.
The academic hardships one has to endure in this process are known to all. But the point here is, is it the same for a boy and a girl? Sometimes No! Amidst all the other difficulties, she has to endure another hazard called harassment. Is that needed?
Due to repeated harassment by a senior medico, a first-year PG student in Hyderabad died of suicide last week. When she was on duty, she entered the staff room and injected herself with a poisonous substance. Though she was admitted to another hospital in an unconscious state, due to multiple organ failures she did not survive. Her father has raised a complaint with the police.
A case has been filed under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The investigation is ongoing regarding the kind of harassment she had been through.
According to the statement of the girl’s father, she had informed him about the harassment. He had asked her to return home, but she refused to come back, stating that she may not get another seat in a different college. Her words reveal the struggle she and her family had to undergo for her to reach her ambition. She also had insisted that her father not complain to the college, as she was worried the seniors would make her life difficult and ensure it affects her marks.
One thing clear is her aim to become a doctor. It is obvious that she had put up with all the pain and hurt so that she could somehow complete her course to make her parents proud. Her dream had vanished into thin air because of the harassment.
Harassment in any form needs to be stopped, at any cost.
To the world, it may be another piece of news where a girl who wanted to become a doctor couldn’t achieve her goal and chose to end her life. The truth is, a dream has been lost. And unless harassment, ragging, or whatever else we call this kind of violence, is stopped and strictly penalised, these things will continue.
Editorial update: According to The News Minute, “Preethi attempted suicide on Feb 22, allegedly following harassment by her senior Mohammad Abdul Saif Ali. According to Warangal Police Commissioner AV Ranganath, the management of the College got to know about the harassment only after her father approached the Matwada police. The police then contacted the college on February 20. The next morning, a meeting was called with both Preethi and Saif and their Department Head, at which the authorities spoke to the two of them and issued a warning to Saif. Matwada police arrested Saif on February 24 under section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Prohibition of Ragging Act and SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
If you or anyone you know is feeling depressed or suicidal, here are some of the helplines available in India. Please call.
Aasra, Mumbai: 022-27546669
Sneha, Chennai: 044-2464 0050
Lifeline, Kolkata: 033-2474 4704
Sahai, Bangalore: 080-25497777
Roshni, Hyderabad: 040-66202000, 040-66202001
SPEAK2us – Tamilnadu 9375493754
Image source: Jan Dragomir’s Images Free for Canva Pro
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