Preventing Ragging in India: Impossible or “I’m Possible”?
“You can’t be against something without actually doing anything about it!”
- Randi Weingarten.
This quote adequately describes the mindsets of people when it comes to bullying or ragging. People tend not to take this issue very seriously, and don’t seem to think that the smallest snide remark or a roll of an eye can create a big difference for the victim’s mental and physical health. In this article, we will bring up the subject of ragging in educational institutions, how it affects us in many aspects and a solution to this problem that could end this once and for all-The Aman Movement for Anti-Ragging.
The Aman movement was named after Aman Satya Kachroo, a 19 year old medical student, who died in 2009 because of ragging. It partners with the government and many different schools across India to discover different ways to spread awareness about ragging, as well as trying to prevent it, such as campaigns, affidavits that students sign when they join educational institutions, call service for ragging victims and much more!
I had reached out to Professor Rajendar Kachroo, the founder of the Aman Movement to ask him a few questions about the initiative. Here is what he had to say.
"Many people lack the awareness about ragging in educational institutions, and sometimes can’t identify the problem. The Aman Movement for anti-ragging tries to prevent that. We have different call centres for people who have been affected by ragging so that they can share what they feel. We also campaign for acceptance of the solution and finally work in partnership with a government to implement the solution.”
Ragging can have a deep impact on a student. As Prof. Kachroo shares,
"Ragging can very deeply affect the victim or even a bystander. There are two aspects of this– the physical and mental. Physically, you can be left with many internal and external injuries. Mentally, you can suffer from trauma or get suicidal thoughts.”
Now having an understanding of what the Aman Movement does and its approach towards ending raging, I was curious of the change that it had been able to bring. Here was Prof. Kachroo's response to my curiosity:
“From 2012, Aman Movement has worked in partnership with University Grants Commission of India and the Union Ministry of Human Resources of India to implement the National Ragging Prevention program. As a result, we have reduced ragging in India significantly, and surveys show a drop in ragging from 12% in 2013 to 5% in 2016”
But, even as ragging is being reduced in educational institutions, people across India tend to not take this issue very seriously and sometimes think it is passable and not a crime, and that’s obviously not true! Prof. Kachroo recounts an incident that illustrates this-
"Once, when I went to a court to attend a hearing, there were these two groups of teenagers, and one group had beaten up the other group. However, when it was being discussed, the lawyers could not identify the case as ragging or bullying, the others there couldn't identify the case as ragging, and even the judge couldn't identify the case as ragging! This is the level of lack of awareness about ragging in India.”
Ragging, as you know, is a very big problem which occurs almost every day across India. Here are some things colleges and schools can do, apart from partnering with the Aman Movement, to prevent ragging from happening in their campuses–
Universities can withhold or withdraw scholarships, fellowships and results from the person who is ragging.
Schools can employ a counsellor/counsellors, because many times the students fail to reveal their ordeal to their parents, but can open up to qualified personnel who can also guide them in a proper way.
An anti-ragging squad can be formed in the campus constituting representatives from students as well as teachers, to deal with any incidents of ragging.
The problem of ragging will continue, but only if we don’t do anything about it. People will get hurt, they will face trauma and yes, they will die, if we don’t take up the initiative to try and prevent ragging as much as we can! It can happen in the smallest school, or the biggest university - all you have to do is to be kind!
Written by Vaidehi Pant
Vaidehi is an enthusiastic study-lover by day, and an author/reader by night. She loves to dance, draw, write, swim and do internships :). She lives in Greater Noida with her family.