Dr Payal Tadvi’s suicide in May this year again brought to the fore discrimination meted out to the students from Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in educational institutions.
A second-year postgraduate medical student from Muslim Bhil Tadvi community, Dr Tadvi was driven to suicide by her “upper caste” Hindu peers who harassed her day in and day out owing to her minority “lower caste” and community status. Narrating how she was being lampooned and discriminated against, the 26-year-old junior doctor wrote in her suicide note that the constant bullying and harassment pressurised her into taking the extreme step. She was targeted for having acquired her medical seat through reservation for the STs and not merit.
On August 9, the Bombay High Court, however, granted bail to all three accused BYL Nair hospital doctors, who have been booked under the SCs and STs Prevention of Atrocities Act.
But Dr Tadvi’s suicide is not a stray incident. As many as 23 incidents of SC and ST students committing suicides due to ethnic and caste-based discrimination were reported in the last 15 years. Sadly, these suicides have not elicited the desired response from the educational institutions or the government so far.
This video provides an insight into the world of students from SC and ST communities—who encounter discrimination in educational institutions on a daily basis: