PON NAAVARASU TRUST... Shaping a better tomorrow


"On Deepavali day, November 10, Madras University vice-chancellor, Dr.P.K.Ponnuswamy and his wife  were worried  about the whereabouts of  their 17- year old son,  Pon Naavarasu. Little did they know   that the  first-year  medical student  of  the  Raja  Muthiah  Medical  College,  Annamalai University,  Chidambaram,  Tamil Nadu,  had been brutally  done to  death on November 6.  A third year  medical student …  later   confessed   to   the   killing.   Naavarasu  had  refused  to   submit   to… a humiliating demand,  in  the  name  of  ragging,  to lick the soles  of his chappals. The 19-year old senior used his karate  skills  to fatally  attack Naavarasu.  He then dismembered  the body, cut  it  into  pieces with surgical instruments  and dispensed  with them in different  parts of the state…"  - FRONTLINE, December 13, 1996.

Thus, Tmt. & Dr. P.K.Ponnuswamy lost their only son,  PON NAAVARASU in  RAGGING in a Medical College.  The Pon Naavarasu Trust was thus formed on March 19, 1997 to help  shape a generation of fine citizens.

PON NAAVARASU was a very bright young man. He had excellent tastes, a brilliant mind, lofty ideas and admirable human qualities. His inherent qualities were many and the acquired excellences abundant.  He was a creative painter and a good cricketer.  He loved  Mother Nature, despised falsehood, abhorred crime, but regarded even   the  criminal  without  the  slightest   hatred out of love  for humanity.  Genial  unassuming by temperament,  he had all  the potentials to  shine forth as a  distinguished  medical researcher  and  make  an indelible mark in life by his contributions.

The news of sudden and gruesome end to his life stunned the public.  When more details came to light it was not only heart-rendering to know the facts, but it almost drove every right-thinking decent citizen to a loss of faith in human nature.  The ethos of our professional educational institutions  appeared dubious in the eyes of society. He had become a victim of  'monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark lamentable catalogue of human crimes'.  As the former President of India,  Thiru. R. Venkataraman put it,  'a more heinous crime has never been seen before in life'.

In response to the anger and agony  which this colossal tragedy evoked, the Tamil Nadu and the Karnataka State Governments have passed legislation's banning RAGGING in educational institutions.

The PON NAAVARASU incident  should not be viewed  as an  isolated  one involving  two individuals.  It is symbolic of a deeper malady, widespread  in our present-day  society for which our educational system is mainly  responsible.  The modern  youth,  having lost sight of  the  stream of values that  has  run  perennially across the land  of  ours has no  distinct  goal and  no  code of conduct. Given to the  gratification of senses, devoid of moral character, driven by gloom, he is a victim of myriad frustration and despair.

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