|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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