Dr Payal Tadvi’s alleged suicide on May 22 has brought the larger issue of ragging and casteist atrocities in educational premises to the surface. Mumbai Police have now arrested all the three accused doctors in Payal’s case, and have produced them before the court on Wednesday.
An investigation by NewsClick, however, has revealed some more noteworthy details about the administration of the BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai – where Tadvi was a resident doctor. In the last three years, there have been two alleged suicides [including Tadvi’s] and one ‘suspicious accident’ which had taken life of a student from the T N Medical College of the Nair Hospital, NewsClick found out.
Bhagyalaxmi Gautamchand Mutha, a 20-year-old student studying in the second year of the BYL Nair Dental College had allegedly committed suicide on September 12, 2017. She had complained about the ‘academic stress’ to her batchmates a day before she died. Mutha allegedly hung herself from a ceiling fan in her room. Police did not find any suicide note in this case.
On September 26, 2017, Shubham Kakde, a first-year-student of MBBS, from the same college, was found dead on the railway tracks. Railway police had informed about the death to his father, Dr Babasaheb Narayanrao Kakde, who lives in Ambad, Jalana district. Dr. Kakde, while speaking to NewsClick over the phone, raised several questions over the conduct of the college administration, and said that he found the death as well as the behaviour of the college administration ‘suspicious’.
He said, “The college’s role is suspicious. The administration told me about Shubham being absent in class for three days before the accident. I have crosschecked it afterwards, and found that he was present on all those three days. The pages of Shubham’s register were also torn apart. I found out about it later,” said Kakde.
When asked why he didn’t file a complaint, he said, “I had suddenly lost my son. Railway Police had told me about the accident. So, I remained quiet. If it is an accident, then what I can do? But when I tried to get the details after some days, I couldn’t believe the information shared by the college administration. I was told that Shubham was sitting for about three hours on the platform on that day. But later, when I checked, I got to know that he had got off the train at 3 pm and died on 3.07 pm.”
Kakde has verbally made a request to the college administration to probe the death of Shubham. He also claimed that the college administration didn’t allow him to meet friends of Shubham. “I can’t fight with such a big administration. I also have one daughter. And even if I fight, Shubham won’t return,” he said.
The students NewsClick Spoke with were too scared to speak on record. On the condition of anonymity, the students said, “The students from the reserved category are being taunted continuously. ‘Deserved Versus Reserved’ is the daily debate among the students and those who gets admission from a quota are demoralised with this mental harassment.”
“Interns (students appearing for MBBS) do internship for 36 hours straight; they get just a 15-minute or 30-minute break. The workload is huge and so is the stress on every student,” said a student.
“There is a shortage of staff. We have been asked to look after for continuous 48 hours. No human can work efficiently for such a long period at a stretch. This is extremely stressful,” said a resident doctor.
One of the interns said that six-seven doctors are expected to see at least 150 patients during the four-hour duty at the Out Patient Department (OPD). “This is damaging the quality of treatment as well as is putting huge stress on the doctors,” s/he said.
The reporter was not allowed to enter the administration building, and hence, could not get a response to these allegations from the hospital administration.
Also read: Payal Tadvi Suicide Case: Two More Doctors Arrested