Institute lures impoverished girls into Diploma in Medical Assistance course promising free education, places them as home nurses in Chennai houses, where they are physically, mentally abused during 4 months’ interniship; proprietor, also accused of abuse and groping, would take lion’s share of the salary
VILLUPURAM: A complaint made at the collectorate on Friday shocked the conscience of many after it came to light that a private medical institute has been exploiting impoverished girls who dreamt of higher education, for the past eight years.
The institution, which lures girls into the diploma in medical assistance (DMA) course by promise of free education, reportedly forces them into becoming home nurses in Chennai homes, were they are physically and mentally abused for a period of four months.
According to sources, the Sathya Institute Of Paramedical Sciences has been functioning at Sankarapuram under correspondent Kalaimani (34) for the past 8 years. The private medical studies institute currently has over 150 students, all of whom are girls.
According to a complaint registered by eight of the institute’s current students, the course named Diploma in Medical Assistance (DMA) usually has a majority of takers from impoverished backgrounds and tribal communities. The course is two-years-long and would fetch the students a certificate that would enable them to work as medical assistants in hospitals, ambulances and private homes.
The institute puts out flyers advertising free education every year. Girls in the higher secondary classes, who believe the philanthropic ideal and dream of propagating the same after getting qualified themselves, feeds the conveyor belt that introduces them to abuses in the form of a correspondent before sending them off to the State’s capital to be exploited at various homes.
The complaint, a copy of which is with The New Indian Express, puts the strength of the students there at 150.
Speaking to this reporter, a 22-year-old student says that the teaching faculty treats the students with dignity and does function well, when it comes to classes.
However, the girls continue, Kalaimani would often interrupt classes in an inebriated condition. He would walk in, saying he ‘wanted to ease his burden’ with conversation, would simply pick a girl, who would then be groped in full view of the class. He would regularly abuse them and generally use foul language while addressing them.
This level of exploitation, it turns out, is only an introduction to abuse. Towards the end of the course, the students are required to practice at a medical care facility for four months. For this, Kalaimani would take them to Chennai.
There, they are taken to private hospitals and the girls assume that they would be working there. However, from there, Kalaimani registers them as private home nurses and forces them to go with patients as allotted by the hospital.
He would then claim the salary offered by the hospital and tell the girls that he was entitled to the salary as he had provided them free education.
The girls are then taken to houses against their will and forced into pitiable living conditions. They are, more often than not, forced to do all the chores of the house and live in questionable conditions. There are a number of cases were abuse, overwork and assault happen.
The worst is the fact that most of the girls are forced to stay at houses where male relatives of the patients manhandle or even rape them continually. The emotional damage to the girls are quite evident from the expressions with which they try to explain the abuse without giving away the shame they had to endure.The students had reportedly tried to plead with the correspondent for change of job.
When they told him they would file a police complaint if he forced them to endure abuse, Kalaimani threatened to not only throw them out of the school, but also told them he would withhold qualification certificates submitted during the admission.
In the absence of the collector, his personal secretary general (PSG) Anusiya Devi accepted the complaint and directed for an RDO inquiry. Kallakurichi RDO Malliga and Kallakurichi DD Health Gemini were asked to submit a report after inquiries.
Speaking to this reporter, correspondent Kalaimani refuted the charges. He was running a non-profit organisation to help impoverished students. He claimed that he was forced to accept whatever internship offers that came his way as the institute was facing financial difficulties for the past two years.