UGC's crisis helpline reveals more boys than girls are ragging victims in Maharashtra

Countering popular belief, more boys than girls have complained about being subjected to ragging on campuses, reveals information made public by the National Anti-Ragging Helpline, the crisis helpline of the University Grants Commission (UGC). According to consolidated figures of the past seven years (2009 to present), 175 students — 146 boys and 29 girls — from Maharashtra institutes/ universities have complained.

According to reports, in the past seven years, 146 boys and 29 girls have registered ragging complaints
According to reports, in the past seven years, 146 boys and 29 girls have registered ragging complaints

Maharashtra makes for the fifth highest number of ragging-related complaints; Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are the top two contributors, with 591 and 403 complaints being registered since 2009. As of September 2015, 13 complaints have gone from across Maharashtra to the anti-ragging helpline, while the maximum complaints were made in the years 2014 and 2011 (41 and 40 respectively).

“The fact that maximum complaints come from boys, not girls, shows that boys are more violent perpetrators. Most complaints come from institutes attached to hostels, where ragging becomes easy and goes unnoticed by authorities,” said Rajendra Kachroo, who runs an online platform which guides people on filing a ragging complaint.

According to statistics revealed in the report, maximum complaints in Maharashtra have emerged from engineering and medical institutes in Pune and Nagpur. The complaints range from physical and mental torture to sexual torture. A common grievance is seniors asking juniors to parade around hostel corridors in the nude. Many girls have complained about being forced to consume alcohol or drugs and perform “sexual acts” by seniors at hostels.

While universities and institutes across the country have made anti-ragging cells and squads compulsory on campus, Kachroo says, “The biggest impediment is the attitude of college administrations. They need to see this as a complaint not against a student but an institution.”

In March 2009, Kachroo’s son Aman, then a 19-year-old student of Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College and Hospital in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, was found dead after being ragged by four seniors.

A post-mortem report showed brain hemorrhage as the cause of death. It was after this that the UGC released the Regulations on Curbing the Menace of Ragging in Higher Educational Institutions, 2009, which are now followed by educational institutes across the country.

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