2013-03-17,New Delhi: Nine Nepali female students have been rescued from a college in the Bidar district of the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka after persistent efforts of their parents and the New Delhi-based Nepali embassy. They had been facing harassment from the officials of the local Rural College of Nursing for the last one and a half months, their parents have said.
Among the rescued who were brought to the Indian Capital later last week, seven were from Saptari and one each from Sunsari and Morang districts of Nepal.
The victims, most of whom were admitted to the college by their parents in November, had tried to return home, soon after a few weeks of their admission as the college failed to maintain the standard of education and facilities it initially promised. However, the college, turning a deaf ear to the students ’ demands, did not let them go even for the holidays. Some students were physically attacked, the parents told the Post in New Delhi.
“There was already a huge mental torture. Some were even threatened and beaten up,” said the angered father of a victim.
“They were made sort of hostage as they were not allowed to move from one room to another throughout the day and were not given enough food,” he added.
These students were enrolled in the college for Bachelor in Nursing and General Nursing Midwife courses. However, the classes were not regular and even the infrastructure the college initially promised was not in place, the parents said. The victims have also been duped of their money. They had paid between IRs 10,000 and IRs 130,000 to the college administration.
“On one hand we lost our money. On the other, there is danger that our children may lose precious one year of their education,” the parents said.
They also regretted their ignorance of admitting the children without proper prior knowledge about the college.
They said that they were brought into the contact of the college by one Bijayakumar Sah—a permanent resident of Dhangadhi and temporarily residing in Rajbiraj, Saptari, and Rajaram Yadav, who also hails from Saptari. According to them, an Indian citizen named Bibekmani Tripathi of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, is also involved in duping the victims.
The parents claimed that they were ‘falsely’ told that the college is a Rajiv-Gandhi University-affiliate. The college, on its website, mentions that it has affiliation from the Bangalore-based Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences and is endorsed by the Karnataka state government as well as the nursing councils of Karnataka and Delhi. It has though been established that the college still lacks its own building and the boasted infrastructure.
The college has put a design of a building as a proposed infrastructure on its website.
Several attempts of the Post to contact the college officials did not succeed.
Root of the problem Many Nepali students easily fall prey to the low costs and easy entrance (in some cases there are no entrance tests at all) offered by the Indian technical or paramedical institutes. These offers lure Nepali parents who do not even feel it necessary to deeply enquire about the college, its affiliation, history, success rate, infrastructure or the facilities.
“In some cases, colleges are found not to be affiliated with the universities as they claim.
A few colleges are even accepting commerce students for higher studies in technical subjects like nursing which is totally against the standard norm,” said Arjun Raj Pant, counsellor for educational and cultural matters at the Nepali Embassy in New Delhi.
Former Ambassador Shyamananda Suman, who played an active role in rescuing the students , suggested having a proper channel through a Nepal government agency for admission to Indian colleges and universities.
“If we can establish a system in which the Indian colleges/universities that want to have Nepali students should first get permission from the Nepali Embassy. This could control the incidents as the one in Karnataka,” he argued.
A few months ago, eight Nepali students aspiring for an MBA degree also faced a similar situation in the Jaipur-based Bhagwan Mahavir Institute of Technology and Management, Pant told the Post.