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Protests Erupt at IIT Madras after Student Suicide and Another Attempted Suicide

  • Posted on February 17, 2023
  • News
  • By Akta Yadav

Protests Erupt at IIT Madras:-

A 27-year-old researcher from Maharashtra, Stephen Sunny's suicide, and another student's attempt to suicide at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) on February 13, 2023, has sparked protests both inside and outside of the campus. According to reports, students are calling for action to prevent further suicides from happening. Protests have taken place in the past due to the institute's high rate of suicide on campus. In a report filed under the Right to Information (RTI), IIT-M has recorded the highest number of suicides compared to other similar institutes in the nation, with 14 suicides over a ten-year period. Protests Erupt at IIT Madras Protests Erupt at IIT Madras The local police have attributed the latest suicide to personal reasons, but students have been protesting, demanding action from the university administration to address the ongoing suicides on campus. On February 14, 2023, IIT-M Director, Professor V. Kamakoti, met with protesting students, promising to host an open-house meeting within ten days to resolve the issue. However, students are still waiting for the date of the meeting. In the wake of the most recent suicide, student organizations at IIT-M are calling for the creation of an active cell to address the issues of discrimination against SC, ST, OBC, and minority communities. They are also demanding an investigation into the mental wellbeing of IIT-M students, extending the capabilities of the grievance redressal departmental cell by including discrimination as one of the factors, and creating an operational procedure for the department to investigate campus deaths. Students at IIT-M claim that the institute's administration does not adequately address mental health and often overlooks discrimination as a reason that could lead to suicides. They are calling for discrimination to be included in any discussion about mental health issues. In the past, protests have led to action by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the death of a humanities professor, Fathima Latheef, who committed suicide on campus in 2019. The investigation concluded that Latheef took the drastic decision due to homelessness as well as psychological issues. Protests Erupt at IIT Madras Protests Erupt at IIT Madras In summary, the suicides at IIT-M have led to student protests and calls for action from the university administration. Students are demanding the creation of a cell to address issues of discrimination and are calling for better mental health resources to address anxiety-related problems. The institution's administration needs to take a closer look at the root causes of these suicides and take action to prevent further tragedies.  
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Akta Yadav

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