IIT Madras: “Decision to dissolve wellness centre taken after extensive deliberation”

ChintaBAR, a student activist collective at IIT Madras recently wrote to the Dean of Students (DoS) raising concerns regarding the dissolution of the wellness centre
File picture of IIT Madras | (Picture: Express)
File picture of IIT Madras | (Picture: Express)

A student group of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, ChintaBAR, had recently raised concerns regarding the dissolution of the internal counselling and wellness centre. EdexLive reached out to the institute for comments and the latter said that the decision was taken after extensive consultations and deliberations by experts and committees.

To recall, ChintaBAR wrote to the Dean of Students (DoS) on Monday, December 3, raising concerns regarding the dissolution of the wellness centre. The letter mentioned that this sudden transition has raised several concerns amongst both the students at the receiving end of the existing wellness centre and the MITR (wellness centre) team.

However, in a reply to EdexLive, a spokesperson from IIT Madras said, “The Student Wellness structure at IIT Madras remains intact. Most of the students who request anonymity in counselling are happy with the new arrangement as it is with a third party. As desired by students on various occasions, independent counsellors have been invited to replace the current institute-appointed ones. The students themselves at multiple times over several years have stated that the counsellors must be from an independent body.”

The institute added that several experts and committees have also opined that the counselling process must be independent of the institute.

“The external counselling was implemented & assessed to have worked well for more than six months. It was only pursuant to this assessment that the institute dissolved the internal counselling. The counsellors will be available 24x7 and will also visit every hostel and department for the convenience of the students, staff and faculty,” added the institute.

The students, in their letter to the dean, had demanded operational independence for the Wellness Center from the Dost office rather than outsourcing it to a third party. They had also stressed that a sudden transition like this will force students to change their existing counsellor and confidant from the erstwhile wellness centre.

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