An open letter to College Professors

*This post is regarding behavior of some professors in college with students*

I belong to 2013-17 batch of BTech, Mechanical in NIT WARANGAL.

In my second year, I was diagnosed with an invisible chronic pain illness called Fibromyalgia. The pain level in Fibromyalgia comes above cancer in the pain index chart.

I came to college this summer to appear for makeup exams. Student reps asked me to enquire about lab exams with respective HOD since they aren’t displayed on the notice board and are conducted internally.

After having visited the HOD’s office twice and being told that he is not there and that they don’t know when he will come back, I finally got to meet him today afternoon.

After explaining my reason for being there, he asked me the faculty names who conducted the exams last year. I told him I don’t know since I was on medical leave for a very long time. He then started calling a few people and was talking the whole time.

At this point, I was in extremely high level of pain and I was about to sit on a chair kept nearby. He looked back at me and screamed, “Hey, stand up! Who asked you to sit?Just stand there!”

I stood back up, silently trying to blink back tears. He then asked me if the lab we were talking about has another part in it. I said ”Yes sir, probably yes.”

And then all of a sudden, he yelled in a very frustrated, high pitched voice, “You guys are useless, get out, just get out from here at once! You just spoiled my mood. Now go away and come tomorrow.”

Now, this whole time when he was behaving this way, my inner conscience kept telling me to speak up for myself. Speak up and tell him that this is no way to talk to anyone, leave alone someone who is in pain. But I didn’t speak, I couldn’t because like everyone else I was afraid that he will meddle with my reports, he will make me suffer, because he is in a power of authority.

This has not just happened today, it has happened earlier with my department professors who told me I was just faking my illness. It has happened in hostel office, it has happened in dispensary and in administrative block.

Even after being a bonafide student of NITW, repeaters are treated like a bunch of idiots who have no rights. My question to all is, if this is the case, if we are really a bunch of idiots, why then are we given a chance to complete our degrees in cases of medical health and other problems?

It takes extreme courage and strength to continue studying as a repeater, when your batch is graduated. You are looked down upon as if you are an outcast.

People, my case is a case where I have a diagnosis, I can explain my problem because I know what’s wrong with me. Hundreds of students in our college are suffering with mental health disorders like depression, OCD, anxiety, bipolar etc

And the irony is that many of them haven’t even been diagnosed yet. They are told to go away just the way I was told because there is very little support and awareness about mental health disorders in India.

What do we do after suffering from cut throat competition, being treated like garbage just because we didn’t top the exam, we are suffering with problems that aren’t visible and you judge as, you shout at us, you treat us as if we don’t even deserve to live.

What happens in these cases ultimately?

Students in the peer pressure of having to behave and perform a certain way, decide to take their lives away because they are made to feel that they are worthless.

I have encountered many such incidents with many such professors in the past when I felt like killing myself. There are many who have actually killed themselves, we all know that. And still here we are, glorifying those who perform a certain way and shunning those who don’t.

Even after knowing that all of us can’t excel at the exact same thing, even after knowing that we don’t know what struggle someone is going through behind that, ‘I am fine’ face. Even after knowing that compassion and kindness can go a long way;

We continue to treat each other irrationally.

Professors, you are the ones who are supposed to teach us, give us good examples to follow. Yet, here we are failing to do the very thing that this institute of national importance was laid down for.

Thank you

A depressed student of NITW


QOTD 💭 – If students misbehave we have a disciplinary committee to act on us, what do we have for professors who misbehave?

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