Students. Who are they? Each and every one of us, we are students or have been students in our lives. We have gone to different schools, to different colleges. We have met a lot of people. We have been new students in a school, we have been freshmen terrified by seniors. We have faced said seniors and bullies. But what if these bullies, the people who call themselves our ‘seniors’, the ones who are supposed to guide us, supposed to welcome us to our new schools, who are supposed to be our role models, humiliate us? Torture us? Maybe they tease us as a joke. A joke we can take as a joke. But what if they commit crimes? What if they torture us in ways that are not even imaginable?
Recently a Keralite girl studying BSc Nursing in Karnataka was allegedly ragged by her seniors. According to the girl, she was forced to drink bathroom cleaning fluid. This caused severe damage to her internal organs which will take another 6 months to heal. The acid in the fluid burned her internal organs and made two parts of the esophagus inseparable and an endoscopic surgery is needed for her. Doctors from the hospital where she is admitted said that her body is not currently fit for surgery and that she is being tube fed. The college authorities have tried to cover up the incident as a suicide attempt but no case of suicide was registered. The girl herself has said that she was forced to drink the cleaning fluid by senior girls in the college. The truth in this has not yet been uncovered, but police have investigated and charged cases against the accused.
As unreal and gruesome as this incident seems, this is what is happening around us. Maybe things like this aren’t happening everywhere in the world but here it is definitely taking place. Students are part of this world too. They too have rights. The are humans irrespective of whether they are first year students or last year students. No one has the right to tease them, to humiliate them or to torture them.
We have raised our voice for women. We have raised our voice for the LGBT community. We have raised our voice for Mother Nature. Now, it is time to raise our voice for the students. It is time to stand by them. It is time to speak for their safety, for their right to live without fear.