Bring thought, vision and teeth to anti-ragging bodies
BMC standing committee has also decided to set up similar committees across all civic-run hospitals, including peripheral hospitals.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) standing committee has approved civic chief Praveen Pardeshi's decision to strengthen anti-ragging panels in city medical colleges.
It has also decided to set up similar committees across all civic-run hospitals, including peripheral hospitals. The immediate trigger for the action is the suicide of post-graduate medical student Dr Payal Tadvi.
BMC said it is working to provide doctors with a platform to report harassment. There is a push to 'upgrade' all existing anti-ragging committees.
While this initiative is welcome, it is important that the composition of these committees is done with thought and vision. We also have to be careful about the powers vested in these committees.
Primarily, students have to be aware that such a committee exists within the institution. It is often astonishing that students are not even aware of the recourse to a committee within their institution.
The existence of such a facility has to be communicated to students and reinforced through e-mail and notices.
The anti-ragging committee must comprise individuals who have a clear idea of what constitutes ragging and harassment. This is a grey area, and often, there is no written evidence.
They must have the capability of recognizing the signs, and move quickly to address the matter and stop the harassment.
For this to happen, the committee must have teeth and be immensely strong in its own right. it must also have the wherewithal to escalate matters, right up to the police, if the situation becomes dangerous.
The committee must command respect from students and be invested in earning their trust.
For that, the most important credential should be its fair play and impartiality, with accessibility
coming a very close second. More power to them.
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