The Hospital Protest March


When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason.” – Ernest Hemingway

The untimely death of Raghavendra, a third year student of the Chemical Engineering Department has shocked the campus. He died of a cardiac arrest in the early hours of the 14th of March barely an hour after he celebrated his 20th birthday. Raghavendra (aka CURD) was a resident of Godavari hostel and was active in the Chemical Engineering Association. He will be sorely missed by his friends and professors.

His death has raised the larger issue of the efficiency of the Institute Hospital. Some of these questions were raised at a meeting with the Director, the Dean Students and other members of the administration at the Students Activities Centre following a peaceful protest march from Himalaya lawns to SAC. Hundreds of students gathered to express their grief over Raghavendra’s death and their concerns about preventing such an incident in the future.

The director, Dr. M S Ananth addressed the students and said that the faculty and administration are also deeply anguished by the unfortunate incident. He asked the students to avoid knee-jerk reactions to an incident which would naturally evoke strong emotions.

Some members of the Executive Council and friends and hostelmates of Raghavendra then put forth their views and complaints about the hospital’s emergency response system and general concerns about the adequacy of facilities in the hospital. A set of demands were made including a formal apology from the Institute Hospital to be made to the student community and to Raghavendra’s parents and for the emergency response team to be reprimanded or dismissed. Demands were also made for raising the standard of the Institute Hospital to comply with ISO 9001:2000 standards and for an external audit by medical professionals to ensure that adequate amenities are maintained.

The Director was open to suggestions and asked for these demands to be formally presented in writing to him. These would be discussed over a week and a review meeting would be held within ten days.

The TFE Team expresses our condolences to the friends and family of Raghavendra and hopes the current discussions prevent such incidents in the future.

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