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Jamia to provide psycho-social support to students during Covid-19 outbreak




Jamia Millia Islamia V-C Najma Akhtar
Jamia Millia Islamia V-C Najma Akhtar | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

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New Delhi:  Jamia Millia Islamia has constituted a 13-member committee to provide psycho-social support to students during and after the COVID-19 outbreak.

The varsity had earlier begun tele-counselling services for the students.

Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar has set up a mental health and counselling committee to facilitate the well-being of students, the varsity said.

The committee will provide psycho-social support to students staying in hostels/campus or outside during and after the COVID-19 outbreak.

Also read: We must not return to work for now. Covid’s not over yet, says a virologist in letter to son


The committee will be headed by Professor S M Sajid of Department of Social Work and Professor Naved Iqbal of Department of Psychology will be its convenor.

Dean Students Welfare (DSW), Chief Proctor, OSD (Planning and Development) Faculty members from Department of Social Work and Psychology, Provost G P Girls Hostel and CMO are members of the committee.

It will meet for weekly (face to face/online) consultation, till COVID-19 persists, initially for three months.

The committee will set up a telephone helpline and arrange telephonic counselling for those who approach it.

The Committee will also enlist limited volunteers among research scholars and NSS students for psycho-social support services and will guide them and assign duties by following a system of rotation.

It may also consult external experts in extreme conditions, the varsity said, adding that the committee members might also visit the hostels and other parts of the campus.

Also read: Who goes online to study in Covid times? 12.5% homes of Indian students have internet access


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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot

‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


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