IIT Bombay Student Dies by Suicide, Family Alleges Caste Discrimination

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Delhi (India), February 16, 2023: Tragedy has struck the family of 18-year-old Darshan Solanki, a first-year student at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, who died on February 12 after allegedly taking his own life.

The deceased student’s family members have now alleged that caste discrimination drove him to take such a drastic step. Rameshbhai Solanki, Darshan’s father, shared with The Indian Express that the young man had confided in his elder sister Jahnvi and aunt Divyaben about the discrimination he faced at the institute.

Rameshbhai, a plumber earning around 15,000 per month, said, “He said that students from the Scheduled Caste have to face caste discrimination here (at IIT Bombay) in different forms. There are different types of ragging to which they are subjected. He said, “We have to face issues in our studies as well. When we speak to seniors, they do not respond properly.”

Jahnvi, a Master of Computer Applications student in Ahmedabad, said, “Just an hour before he died, Darshan had called father.” It was a regular call to wish our cousin a happy birthday. He was planning to come home for vacation and spoke to his father about it. “We demand to know what happened after that phone call.”

When asked about his last conversation with his son, Rameshbhai said that Darshan was planning to come home after a two-day trip with friends when he spoke to his father at 12.20 pm on February 12. He said that Darshan was happy when his exams got over on February 11.

Darshan’s uncle Harishbhai added, “When we had gone to pick him up during Uttarayan (January 14), he told my wife that students would ask him why he was studying for free when they had to pay a lot.”

The Solanki family had been eagerly awaiting Darshan’s return home but he was never to make it. His uncle, Gautam Parmar, said, “Despite the struggles of staying away from family and having to eat mess food, we were glad to know that he was getting along well with a few of his classmates.”

The family is now demanding justice for their son and answers as to what happened after the last conversation he had with his father.

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