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Saturday, June 4, 2011

59 - 16th June 2009 – 3 deaths in 3 months in Indias No 1 Institute

This morning, I received two "pings" on G-Talk from my batchmates at IIT-Kharagpur, and both seemed to be in an excited state. The first one pinged a link that most of them had put on as their Status Message, some story from Outlook. It seemed IIT-Kharagpur had yet again emerged as the No.1 in the country in a survey that's normally conducted around this time of the year, during the admissions-counselling period. Not only did it beat the closest competitor, IIT-B, by a huge margin of 90 points, it had also topped the Architecture Schools list.

The implication might have been that IIT-Kgp was in fact the best place for an undergraduate student to be in the country. 

The 2nd ping, however, was quite in contradiction. It was not reconfirmed by anyone else, no news source carried it, and most said that the news wasn't being released "due to ongoing IIT-JEE counselling at IIT-Kgp." Somehow, a lone news source is carrying a report on the incident as of now. Oh, and the incident. Yeah, another student died at IIT-Kgp, nothing new...
Police said they broke into the room at the Madan Mohan Malaviyya hostel in the campus and recovered the body of Manoj Kumar (18) after the hostel cleaning staff complained of a stench emanating from it.

Police said prima facie it appeared to be a case of suicide and investigations were on.
-- The Indian Express

A first year student of Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture Department, Manoj Kumar, hailing from Rajasthan, was found hanging from the ceiling of his room in Madan Mohan Malviya Hall of Residence, IIT Kgp. It was just a couple of months ago, that another fourth year student had committed suicide in his hostel room. And who can forget the death of Rohit Kumar due to the institute run Hospital's medical negligence.

A 3rd year dies of Medical Negligence, a fourth year commits suicide a month later, and a fresher now. My batch had already lost Anshu to negligence in the first year itself. And we still are the best institute in the country.

Is this how complacent we've become? Is this the best place for a student to be? Is counselling for potential students more important than counselling suicide probables and taking care of existing students?

We have regular student-administration meetings at the campus, which all students are open to attend. I shall be attending them regularly the coming semester onwards, and shall raise and follow up on issues regarding the state of the hospital as well as allocation of doctors, counsellors and psychologists.

Will you be there?

Let's see...