Ragging rampant in Telangana medical colleges despite anti-ragging committees, say students and doctors

Students, especially girls, do not complain about serious incidents as they fear being targeted in the future and failure in examinations
Image for representational purpose only | Pic: EdexLive
Image for representational purpose only | Pic: EdexLive

Doctors and other students in Telangana opine that some amount of ragging occurs in every medical college, while sympathising with Preethi, a post-graduate medical student who allegedly attempted suicide due to harassment by seniors. Due to their concern about being the target of future harassment and exam failure, students, particularly girls, tend to not report serious incidents.

"Kakatiya Medical College is already notorious for ragging even at the undergraduate level. A lot of my friends were worried when they got admission to the college," said a third-year MBBS student from Osmania Medical College (OMC). She added that it is indeed a prestigious college but ragging is pretty serious there. If what happened with Dr Preethi tells us about the condition of PG students, we can imagine what MBBS students are going through, she said. "Ragging culture definitely prevails, especially in government medical colleges," the student further said. She added that there is an anti-ragging committee which prohibits such incidents in OMC. However, once or twice, this issue has even been taken to the principal and action was taken against the senior students. The anti-ragging committee, she continued, forbids such incidents at OMC. However, this issue has occasionally even been brought up with the principal and punishment was laid out for the seniors, stated a report by The New Indian Express.

According to a student from OMC, "Seniors made us write their assignments, excluding us from discussions in the first year. Apart from that, we never experienced any serious form of harassment." In post-graduation, seniors would pass on their work to juniors, causing them stress. It appears that ragging in medical colleges began as harmless jokes, but eventually escalated to serious harassment that could traumatise students. Dr Shrikant Manda, a paediatrician who graduated from a government college 30 years ago, recalls, "During my graduation in a government college, 30 years ago, seniors used to make fun of us. Calling students outside the room or in the canteen to ask funny questions was common in those days." He added that seniors also assisted him in coping with the heavy academic workload by providing study materials and guidance.

Recently, there have been many cases of ragging in colleges leading to the loss of student lives. Despite this, many students believe that ragging is still common in government colleges but private colleges have a strict anti-ragging committee to prevent such incidents. Final year MBBS student, Moukthika, shared that her college had a relatively safer environment as they did not have an immediate batch of seniors. She said, "We were saved also because we do not have an immediate batch of seniors." However, most doctors agree that first-year students are likely to experience mild ragging initially, but it subsides once they become friends with their seniors. Surprisingly, most of the students who carry out ragging themselves have been victims of ragging in the past, and they try to seek revenge by making others go through the same ordeal, reported The New Indian Express.

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