A day after a first-year MBBS student was found hanging in his hostel room at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), undergraduate students boycotting classes and other training programmes and sat outside the director’s office all day.
A 2010 batch student, Anil Kumar Meena, 22, from Baran district in Rajasthan failed to pass all three subjects in the first year. His attendance was also short, because of which the administration asked him to repeat a year.
Depressed over failing, the young medical aspirant ended his life in the wee hours on Sunday. While Meena was depressed because of his inability to cope, he did not suffer from psychiatric problems.
Angry undergraduate students held director RC Deka’s responsible for the suicide, and demanded his resignation.
“Anil would not have taken this step if the administration had given him a hearing. He tried to meet the director thrice to talk about the change in rules — the weightage of internal tests have been increased from 25 to 50% in the supplementary exam. But the director did not meet him,” said a student, who did not want to be identified.
“The administration is not responsive to the needs of new students. If there was a little more communication between the administration and student bodies, many student issues could be resolved,” said another student, unwilling to be named.
The resident doctors association did not boycott duties but came out in full support of striking students. “The MBBS course at AIIMS has been a model course for other medical institutes. The good points of this prestigious college should be handed down to others and not the ills,” said Dr Sudipto Ranjan Singh, president, RDA at AIIMS.
“The death of two students in consecutive years shows the failure of the motto behind running the MBBS course. Dr Deka should accept moral responsibility and step down,” he demanded. Students from Jawaharlal Nehru University also joined the protest, which continued till late in the night.
Meanwhile, the administration announced an ex-gratia token amount of R3 lakh to the family of the deceased. An autopsy conducted at AIIMS confirmed hanging as the cause.
Family unaware of his depression
The family of Anil Kumar Meena said that they suspected that the academic administration’s lack of cooperation with Anil in his studies were the reason behind his failure in the first-year MBBS examination.
Anil was a native of Peepliya Chowki village in Chipabarod town of Baran district and was selected in Aiims, New Delhi in the year 2010, after scoring 2nd All India Rank in Scheduled Tribe category in AIPMT (All India Pre-Medical Test.
His father, Surajmal Meena, who spoke to HT on the phone, said that he was unaware that Anil was stressed about his studies as he never talked about it with him. After his suicide, however, he said that he learnt from Anil’s friends and classmates that he had made attempts to meet the academic management of Aiims to address his study-related problems but no one gave him time. This led to his depression.
When asked whether he would lodge a complaint against Aiims management, Surajmal said he would discuss the matter with his family.