The few things that come to your mind when you think of SCB Medical College is – Legacy and Service to Humanity irrespective of caste and creed. ‘Discrimination’ is not a word which you would associate with an Institute of such great stature.
However on one side, where we are rapidly taking giant strides in technology by launching our own Space Shuttle and creating Smart Cities, an incident which happened in one of Odisha’s top Medical college is nothing less than a black mark on all our efforts as a Country.
On May 7th – what started out as a normal day for Subhadra Murmu, turned into a nightmare when she went to inform the warden that she would be reporting late for duty by five minutes as lunch was served late. According to her, it was at the warden’s where Principal Kajal Rani Sinha confronted her, got into a fit of rage and grabbed her hair. She also slapped her and hurled abuses.
Subhadra has shared more instances of discrimination faced by tribal students in the video below.
The incident has revealed more skeletons in the closet of SCB Medical College. She and a few other students have also accused the management of not being considerate and deducting money from their daily allowances on purpose citing weird excuses. Not just that, the Principal has also allegedly made statements stereotyping ‘Adivasis from Mayurbhanj’ as fools while insulting them as ‘lowly people from lowly castes’
This apparently is just the tip of the iceberg, Subhadra says around 30-40 per cent of SC and ST students have been in similar situations which clearly states that the problem is bigger. The situation is trickier as students refused to speak up before due to fear of ‘reduced marks and spoilt careers’.
However in the last fortnight, there has been a furore over this incident. Over 300 students of School of Nursing, SCB Medical College came out in the streets and agitated against their principal Kajal Rani Sinha citing “physical” and “mental abuse”, even filing written complaints at the local police station. The students are unwilling to budge until the removal of the principal from her post. The State Government has intervened and ordered the college to be shut down sine die and has asked students to leave the hostel by the next day.
What’s disappointing is that the protest doesn’t have large participation yet and has not been able to gain mass media’s attention. These following lines by Pastor Martin couldn’t be truer.
Will the ongoing protests lead to real change in the sad state of affairs within SCB College or will it be just another movement where the few voices fighting are stifled and everyone else goes back home saying ‘it’s not my battle’.
[Video courtesy: Video Republic]