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AIIMS and its history of caste discrimination

April 26, 2011

If the government and AIIMS authorities had acted on the Prof Thorat Committee report and its recommendations and tried to prevent the discrimination meted out to Dalit and Adivasi students at AIIMS, Balmukund’s family would probably not have been grieving on the death of their bright child today and the community and the country would not have lost a brilliant student, a doctor.

 All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi is one of the premier educational institutions of the country and has been in the news since the last few years for rampant prevalence of caste discrimination and the fight of Dalit students against it.

Following are the links that might help us to gauge the gravity of the entire issue.

• ‘Even if I never become a doctor, I will not give up this fight’: Ajay Kumar Singh (Tehelka, June 2, 2007)

  

In this video Jeetendra Kumar Meena shares what happens with SC and ST students in AIIMS with CNN IBN (26 September, 2006)

• Ghetto in medical hostel – Quota students in AIIMS allege being driven into a corner ( The Telegraph, 5 July, 2006)

Following these allegations from students and news reports of blatant caste discrimination practised against SC and ST students in AIIMS, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry instituted a three-member committee headed by University Grants Commission Chairperson, S K Thorat, to enquire into the conditions prevalent in the institution.

 Thus AIIMS became, probably, the first and until now, the only education institution in the country to be investigated for caste-based discrimination, a phenomenon that is prevalent in almost all the country’s educational spaces but has never became ‘public’ knowledge.

The Prof Thorat Committee came out with its report in May 2007 and exposed the various forms of caste discrimination practised against our students both by other students and faculty members there and accused AIIMS authorities of ‘encouraging hostile caste discrimination’.

 News links on Prof Thorat Committee Report:

• ‘AIIMS apartheid, cricket to class’ (The Telegraph, May 7, 2007)

 ‘SC/ST students at AIIMS face discrimination’ (The Indian Express, May 6, 2007)

However, despite Prof Thorat Committee’s report the Indian government chose to completely ignore its findings, its recommendations and did nothing to prevent the continuing discrimination.

• Probe allegations of caste discrimination in AIIMS, High Court tells Centre (The Indian Express, December 6, 2007)

 If the government and AIIMS authorities had acted on the Prof Thorat Committee report and its recommendations and tried to prevent the discrimination meted out to Dalit and Adivasi students at AIIMS, Balmukund’s family would probably not have been grieving on the death of their bright child today and the community and the country would not have lost a brilliant student, a doctor.

 

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