The Beginning Story :
How did the journey begin!
October 11, 2005 :
An SMS sent
to his father on September 11 reads [Hindi]
An eighteen year old boy 'jumped in
front of a running train'... as a last resort
"Main student number 786 college ki
salakhon se bahar dekhta hun
Amit, from Bareilly, UP, had come to
study at the Dr. B. R. Ambedkar National Institute of
Din hafton, mahino ko semester mein badalte
Is canteen se kisi saste dhabe ki khushbu aati
Ye teacher jo ki shakal se hi kasai lagte hain
Mujhe Yamraj ki yaad dilate hai
Ye saal 3-degree torture hai jise ragging kehte
Who kehte hain ki ye college hai
Phir kyu ye mujhe jahannum ki yaad dilate."
News Link 1
News Link 2
News Link 3
Next Sunday, a leading television channel arranged a special
show, "Ek Sapno Ki Maut"....
Amit's parents were silently weeping, while his younger
brother narrated the horrific tales of abuse and torture...
tears rolling down from his eyes.
Kushal was doing his M.B.B.S. from Kolkata. This story moved
him deeply. He tried to contact several authorities through
emails - seeking justice.
Then he remembered reading an article about an anti ragging
website. While searching for that, he came across online
anti ragging groups and joined them. He sent mails to the
groups expressing desires to "do something" to end ragging.
Soon he realized that the groups were mainly for online
discussions. A few websites were there to condemn
ragging. However, he wanted some definite steps in the
direction in place of mere talks. He suggested working on
the ground zero, visiting campuses and interacting with the
campus community. His idea was not accepted.
Meanwhile, Kushal's visits to some media houses resulted in
a few columns written on it. It attracted a few students to
In early 2006, he got an idea to campaign near the famous
Kolkata International Book Fair, which used to see a huge
footfall. However, his messages to the online group,
regarding the proposed campaign, didn't get any positive
response. Then, inspired to some extent by a song from
Tagore, he decided to start alone.
The first unofficial campaign started in Kolkata - a
movement was born in the famous grounds of the Kolkata
(International) Book Fair in 2006 - the last one to be held
in its original venue. His campaigns, with Mr. Shyamal
Bhattacharya, who helped Kushal in initial days, attracted
some other youths - mostly students and two young
Thus Gargi (architect), Pankaj (engineer), Jayanta (then an
engineeing student), Sumitava (then a law student), Sankha
(then a management student) joined in.
Meanwhile the Raghavan Committee was formed on the orders of
the hon'ble Supreme Court. Jayanta and Kushal tried hard to
get an appointment. Somehow Kushal could meet the committee,
though as an uninvited guest, on February 6th, 2007. He
convinced them and secured a future appointment for the
online group, in Delhi.
In 2007, the Kolkata Book Fair was going to be held again.
The youths in Kolkata tried to
arrange a seminar in the book fair. They convinced the
organizers of the book fair about the cause. The organizers
were kind enough to support these youths by waiving the
rental charges for the seminar hall.
But things didn't go well with the online group. The event
was held, amidst tension, solely funded by the youths in
Kolkata. It was a grand success.
In an informal meeting at the popular hangout of old
Kolkata, the Indian Coffee House, a decision was taken to
intensify campaigns. This gradually led to the formation of
the present organization.
New activities started with visiting colleges, reaching out
to the homes of ragging victims (from the stories reported
in the media), etc. However, at that stage we couldn't
provide much support to the victims or their families, apart
from moral supports and so on.
Soon, awareness campaigns were arranged near the counselling
venues where students would enroll for medical and
engineering courses (though originally started in 2007).
Soon, Gaurav (an alumnus of IIT-Kanpur), Meera (a lawyer in
Delhi), Ajay (then an independent filmmaker), Somesh (a
instructor on Martial arts), Shubhendu (then a student at
TISS, Pune), Mainak (then an engineering student),
Rabindranath and Pratap (then students of Jadavpur
University), Pushpita (then an engineering student), Imran
(then an engineering student) and others joined in.
Dr. Aniruddha Kar, a retired top official of the health
department also joined the movement. So far SAVE had been
run mainly by young professionals and by students. Then
elders also started joining in and making it stronger.
Akshit, Shivam and some others had once faced ragging. They
have fought their cases bravely. Later they have also joined
this organization to support the cause.