A private medical institute in Tamil is accused of subjecting its students, especially those from poor families, to sexual abuse.
The Satya Institute of Paramedical Sciences functions under correspondent Kalaimani for the past 8 years at Sankarapuram, a town panchayat in Villupuram district. The institute currently has more than 150 students, all girls. It is some 265 km southwest of Chennai, the state capital.
A complaint made at the collectorate on November 10 brought to light the alleged exploitation of impoverished girls who dreamt of higher education.
The institution allegedly lures girls for a Diploma in Medical Assistance (DMA) course by promising free education. However it reportedly forces them to work as home nurses in Chennai homes, were they are physically and mentally abused four months.
According to the complaint registered by eight current students, most takers of the two-year DMA course are from poor and tribal communities. The course would fetch the students a certificate allows them work as medical assistants in hospitals, ambulances and private homes.
The complaint puts the strength of the students there at 150.
A 22-year-old student told The New Indian Express that the teaching faculty treats the students with dignity and does function well.
However, Kalaimani would often interrupt classes in an inebriated condition. He would regularly abuse the students.
As part of completing the course, the students are required to practice at a medical care facility for four months. For this, Kalaimani would take them to Chennai where they would be placed in private hospitals. From there, Kalaimani registers them as private home nurses and forces them to go with patients allotted by the hospital.
He took the salary the hospital offered and told the girls that he was entitled to their salary as he had provided them free education.
The complaint said the girls were taken to houses against their will and forced to do all chores there. They also faced abuse, overwork and assault.
The patients’ male relatives often manhandled or raped them. The girls were too emotional to recount the abuse. They had reportedly pleaded for change of job.
When they told Kalaimani that they would file police complaint, he threatened to throw them out of the school and withhold the school certificates that they had submitted at the time of admission.
In the absence of the collector, his personal secretary general Anusiya Devi accepted the complaint and directed for an inquiry.
Kalaimani refuted the charges. He told The New Indian Express that 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.