An appeal

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!

Escape What?

AmitAn 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.

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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 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 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 professionals.

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.
The first
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.