HYDERABAD: University of Hyderabad student Birbal Koziara Debbarma, who allegedly attempted suicide by jumping from the third floor of his hostel building, will not be eligible for the students’ health insurance claim amount of `75,000. The University has also not been very helpful. Besides the `30,000 that Center for Integrated Studies donated towards the treatment on the day Birbal was admitted in the hospital, there has been no financial aid from the administration. Sources added that Birbal was declared ineligible to claim insurance on grounds that it was a suicide attempt and not an accident.
UoH official spokesperson Prof Vinod Pavarala told Express that Birbal had not registered himself as a student with University for more than one semester. “Once you don’t register, you lose out on the facilities. So, it is unlikely that insurance will cover his medical expenses,” he said and added that there is no standard procedure for providing financial aid to students. “It will all depend on the representation that is given to administration.
Meanwhile, UoH student community is crowd-funding his treatment. The Northeast Students Forum (NSF) of the varsity, of which Birbal is a member, is spearheading the fund collection through social media. Birbal is recuperating in a private hospital in Gachibowli, with broken legs and spine.
The estimated cost of treatment is over `7 lakh, which includes several surgeries over a period of three months, beyond what Birbal’s pensioner father can afford, said his friends.
Birbal underwent a surgery on his thigh on Wednesday for which `1.5 lakh was arranged by university students and those back home in Agartala. Second of four siblings, Birbal’s family had high hopes on him when they sent him to Hyderabad.
Calling him soft-spoken and extremely courteous, she says she never knew that he was sad or depressed. The last Facebook message he posted, minutes before his fall, read “I feel like my life ain’t mine. Who can relate?” Meanwhile, fellow members of NSF, and other students bodies are also contributing. “Its heartening to the response from students. People are contributing whatever little they can. Several faculty members have also contributed,” said Chothazo N, a PhD scholar and coordinator of NSF.