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Dr Ravi P Bhatia

Image for representational purpose only

Urvashi is no longer alive physically but her memories and her supreme sacrifice continue to inspire and motivate many young persons. She is a symbol of encouragement and peace.

She was a student of one of the Delhi University Colleges. Like other students, Urvashi was serious towards her studies. She regularly attended all classes and made notes to study and revise what had been taught in the class. In the process, she skipped many other events like debates or cultural programmes that other students of her class participated in. When asked by some of her friends why she did not join the other students and have some fun, she smiled but did not say anything.

Perhaps her habits were inspired by her parents who were poor and did not have much money to spend on her clothes or shoes and the like; they could spend on only essential expenses like paying her College fees. They also hardly ever went for vacations to Shimla or Mussorie or some popular hill stations during summer months. The only time her family went out was to the nearby village where her grandparents and some other family members lived.

The four-year course in the College was proceeding smoothly for Urvashi—she was getting good marks in the final examinations of the first three years. The final fourth year exam was about to take place. Urvashi was confident that she would do well in the final year and afterwards try to get a job and help her ageing parents.

Examinations over she tried to relax a little bit and helped her mother in the kitchen and other household chores. About two months after the examination the result was out. Urvashi had not passed the last examination. She was shattered. How could this be? She had worked honestly and diligently and was confident that she had done as well, if not better as in the earlier years.

What could be the reason of her failure? What should she do now? Whom should she approach to seek support? How could she break the news to her parents who were anxiously waiting for the final result?

Urvashi took the tragic step – she wrote a brief letter to her parents and hanged herself. Her parents were crestfallen. Being older and more experienced they swallowed the bitter pill and tried to forget this tragedy for the sake of their other younger daughter.

But wait; a few days later they received an employee of her College who informed them that the university had made a mistake in declaring Urvashi as failed. Actually she had fared excellently. The news was so unexpected but Urvashi was gone.

A few months later they approached the University and suggested that a scholarship be instituted in Urvashi’s name and a counselling cell be started in her College so that if such a situation arose for any student the counsellors could help the student concerned to not take such a tragic step.

Urvashi is gone and now a scholarship has been instituted in her name. Yes, a counselling cell has also been started. Her death has not been in vain. Her death has opened up some positive avenues for meritorious and deserving students of the College.

One hears that sometimes one contributes more to society after death than when alive.

Dr Ravi P Bhatia is an educationist and peace researcher, who retired as professor from Delhi University

Source:Transcend Media Service (TMS)

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