Why We Started
The Beginning Story : How did the journey begin!
October 11, 2005 :
An eighteen year old boy ‘jumped in front of a running train‘… as a last resort to escape!
An SMS sent to his father on September 11 reads [Hindi]
Main student number 786 college ki salakhon se bahar dekhta hun
Din hafton, mahino ko semester mein badalte dekhta hun
Is canteen se kisi saste dhabe ki khushbu aati hai
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 hain
Who kehte hain ki ye college hai
Phir kyu ye mujhe jahannum ki yaad dilate
Amit, from Bareilly, UP, had come to study at the Dr. B. R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar.
Next Sunday, a leading television channel arranged a special show, “Ek Sapno Ki Maut”…. Amit’s parents wept silently, 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 desire 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 this direction in place of mere talks. His suggestion of working from ground zero by visiting campuses and interacting with the campus community was rejected.
Meanwhile, Kushal’s visits to some media houses resulted in a few columns written on it. It attracted a few students to join in.
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 born amidst the famous grounds of the Kolkata (International) Book Fair in 2006. His campaigns, with Mr Shyamal Bhattacharya, who helped Kushal in initial days, attracted some other youths – mostly students and two young professionals.
Thus Gargi (architect), Pankaj (engineer), Jayanta (then an engineering 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. Kushal, among the others, could meet The Raghavan committee, which was formed on the orders of the Supreme court as an uninvited guest. As per the meeting on 6th February 2007, he convinced the committee members for an appointment with the online team in Delhi.
Kushal, among the others, could meet The Raghavan committee, which was formed on the orders of the Supreme court. As per the meeting on 6th February 2007, he convinced the committee members for an appointment with the online team in Delhi.
In the 2007 Kolkata Book Fair, seminars were arranged to build awareness against ragging. Solely funded by the youths of Kolkata, this event turned out to be a grand success.
Thereafter a meeting was held at the Indian Coffee House, Kolkata ultimately leading to the formation of the present organisation in Kolkata. With renewed vigour, the group started to visit colleges, reaching the homes of victims and recording their stories for future eradication.
Soon, Gaurav (an alumnus of IIT-Kanpur), Meera (a lawyer in Delhi), Ajay (then an independent filmmaker), Somesh ( Martial Arts instructor), Shubhendu (a student at TISS, Pune), Mainak ( an engineering student), Rabindranath and Pratap ( students of Jadavpur University), Pushpita ( student of engineering ), Imran ( an engineering student) and others joined in.
Dr Aniruddha Kar, who was a retired top official of the health department, also joined the movement along with Akshit and Shivam (ragging survivors).
SAVE, successfully run by young professionals and by students and senior citizens, have grown bigger and stronger with time.