Telangana: Campaign against student suicides

Student body starts online petition for ban on Narayana, Chaitanya junior colleges.

Hyderabad: After the protest by several students against corporate colleges like Narayana and Sri Chaitanya Junior, the Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika now starts an online petition with requesting the government to ban these colleges. Sri Chaitanya and Narayana are the two leading corporate colleges in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. But over the past few years, both the colleges have been facing constant heat from students, parents and activists for their allegedly notorious ways of putting their students through psychological stress. More than 47 students from these colleges, in 2017 alone, have committed suicides, unable to cope with the pressure imposed on them, claims the petition.

These students had committed suicide within the college premises itself, and there are many such students who deal with psychological issues, alleged the students leaders. Even after all these incidents, no case has been filed against the colleges, which shows the strong coalition between the state and the corporates, students alleged. The petition is addressed to state Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and deputy Chief Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali. In 2001, the government appointed the Nirada Reddy Committee to look into the complaints regarding Sri Chaitanya and Narayana colleges.

This committee reported to the government that these colleges treat students inhumanly. The committee also suggested that only 9 hours be allocated to classes in order to provide time for games and other activities as well. The Nirada Reddy Committee had even brought to light the reasons why students in Sri Chaitanya and Narayana commit suicides. But the government has taken no action against either college. Menchu Sandeep, general secretary, TVV said, “Admissions are carried out on a large scale with the help of mass media and distorted advertisements, thereby luring parents and students into a trap. The ranks and marks of certain students have become the face of these institutes where lakhs of students are being taken advantage of. These colleges are usually run on hectic schedules of 18 hours of rote learning, with a test being conducted almost every hour. Special classes overhaul the holidays and weekends of the students.”

He adds, “It is because of this extremely stressful environment that students are pushed to commit suicides and yet, not even a single case has been registered against these corporate institutes. Apart from this, neither is a proper investigation conducted nor is necessary action taken by the government. Corporate colleges like Sri Chaitanya and Narayana are advancing their businesses by violating the guidelines and rules of the Board of Intermediate Education.”

B. Maddileti, president of TVV told this newspaper that, “Education should play an instrumental role in both individual and social transformation. Corporatisation of education is driving students to death at very tender ages. We demand that commodification and corporatisation should be banned and government should take up the responsibility of free and quality education from kindergarten to post-graduation. “We also demand that the government should immediately withdraw the ‘Private Universities Bill’ and it should not be introduced in the Assembly. The permissions granted to colleges like Sri Chaitanya and Narayana should be revoked with immediate effect and they should be charged with murder as they are the main reason behind the suicides of these students,” he adds.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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