Mumbai doctor's suicide: Nair, Topiwala left students vulnerable to harassment, reveals inquiry

Updated: Jun 05, 2019, 09:16 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai

Officials associated with the inquiry remarked that had the college implemented the norms adequately, Dr Payal Tadvi could have been saved from taking such an extreme step

Officials associated with the inquiry remarked that had the college implemented the norms adequately, Dr. Tadvi could have been saved from taking such an extreme step. File pic
Officials associated with the inquiry remarked that had the college implemented the norms adequately, Dr. Tadvi could have been saved from taking such an extreme step. File pic

The BYL Nair hospital and TN medical college, where Dr. Payal Tadvi was a student, have received a rap on the knuckles from the University Grants Commission (UGC). An inquiry by the body has found them violating anti-ragging rules, thus leaving students vulnerable to harassment. Not only that, but the body also found their anti-ragging committee to be non-functional.

Officials associated with the inquiry remarked that had the college implemented the norms adequately, Dr. Tadvi could have been saved from taking such an extreme step.

The inquiry was started after the national anti-ragging helpline 1800-180-5522 received a complaint about Dr. Tadvi’s suicide from a Mumbai-based NGO on May 27.

On May 29, they finished the inquest, which revealed how the college had violated anti-ragging laws.

Rajendra Kachroo, who works for UGC’s anti-ragging department, was a part of the investigation. He also runs the Aman Satya Kachroo Trust named after his son who passed away in 2009 after being ragged by his seniors at a medical college.

He said, “According to the Anti-Ragging Act, colleges need to upload all information regarding the anti-ragging committee along with the names and numbers of those associated with it on their website, so that students can approach the officer concerned during a crisis.”

“When we spoke to the [TN medical college] students, they mentioned their college doesn’t even display information about the committee on college boards, posters or notices. The college also failed to provide information about the number of times the committee has held meetings,” he added. The anti-ragging helpline number has also not been displayed anywhere inside the college premises.

The UGC committee has asked the college to properly implement all anti-ragging laws. Commenting on the inquiry’s findings, Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean of Nair hospital said, “BMC’s standing committee has decided to update all anti-ragging committees and we would also follow the same protocol.”

Kachroo commented, “The condition of almost all medical colleges across the nation is the same. They make residents work 24/7 but don’t care about their safety and mental state. All 450 medical colleges need to implement these changes.”

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