His student dies of Covid, St Stephen’s principal’s lament: ‘blind leaders immune’

Satyam Jha had packed in all he may into his 19-year-old world — a first-year BA (Hons) Historical past student of St Stephen’s Faculty, he was a member of the faculty’s debating society; editor of the Historical past division’s journal Tarikh; a council member of the faculty’s Gandhi Ambedkar Research Circle; and half of the organising committee of the faculty’s College students’ Federation of India unit.

On Might 25, Jha — a “sensible student” with “immense potential”, as his lecturers described him — died of Covid at a non-public hospital in Kota, Rajasthan, a demise that moved his principal John Varghese to pen an anguished observe on the faculty web site.

“The second wave of the pandemic has been heartless in its ruthless rampaging by means of our nation exposing our hole claims of being ready, of being one of the biggest producers of pharmaceutical merchandise on the planet, of even being a civilization that locations worth on the upper issues in life. But when life itself is gone, then wither all these claims? They’re merely a futile breath of air. A mere posturing, signifying nothing,” he wrote.

“The claims of belligerent and blind leaders who’re proof against the struggling and deaths of easy individuals additionally present that we’re veering off dangerously to turning into a merciless and insensitive race. How do all these claims of energy and significance matter earlier than the demise of a beloved one? Nothing,” Varghese wrote.

Jha died with out having the ability to step into the campus he labored so onerous to get into. With the pandemic shutting down establishments, he had been attending courses from Kota, the place his elder brother Shubham had been getting ready for his MBBS. Their mom too had moved in with them.

“Round Might 8, Satyam developed some low-grade fever. When he began getting breathless, we lastly admitted him to NMCH (the government-run New Medical Faculty Hospital) late on Might 18,” stated Shubham.

As his situation worsened, the household shifted him to the non-public Sudha Hospital within the metropolis. However as his oxygen ranges plummeted, Jha lastly died on the morning of Might 25. “He had the perfect immunity of us all; by no means even obtained a headache or a chilly,” stated Shubham, accusing NMCH and Sudha Hospital of negligence.

NMCH Superintendent C S Sushil and Controller Vijay Sardana didn’t reply to calls and texts. Sudha Hospital director Palkesh Agrawal didn’t reply, both.

As we speak, Shubham says his resolve to turn out to be a health care provider has turn out to be stronger than ever. “We don’t understand how all this occurred; he had no co-morbidities. We had registered on Co-Win for vaccination however couldn’t get a slot,” he stated.

Shubham says his brother’s life revolved round books. “Whereas right here in Kota, he would simply keep inside and browse all day. He learn lots, all the time surrounded himself with books. His room was nearly a library. On my birthday, whereas I would want for watches or cell phones, he all the time wished books. The one digital merchandise he ever requested for was a Kindle,” he stated.

It was his love for the written phrase that drew Jha to Marxist literature, say his buddies. “He was very inclined in direction of Communist and Marxist concepts. He was the primary individual from his batch to turn out to be an SFI member. He additionally recruited different members. We used to organise examine circles just about, he was very energetic in that as nicely. I’ve misplaced a really variety and compassionate good friend. He was nicely learn however humble,” stated one of his seniors at Stephen’s, who didn’t wish to be recognized.

Jha’s household hails from Belur in Howrah, and he accomplished his education from St Xavier’s Collegiate Faculty in Kolkata.

At Stephen’s, Jha’s good friend and classmate Avishi Gupta says they hit it off from the beginning. “He was one of the primary few buddies I actually felt comfy speaking to in school, primarily as a result of he was so variety and useful. He labored tirelessly to rearrange for assets through the pandemic,” she stated.

A senior, talking on situation of anonymity, says he knew Jha from the day he took admission in Stephen’s. “He was a very enthusiastic individual. He had unimaginable tutorial depth and all the time wished to be taught extra. He was additionally a really deeply political individual. He was very well-read, particularly on Marxism, liberation theology and feminist literature,” he stated.

Malay Neerav, Head of the Historical past Division at Stephen’s, stated Jha’s potential had been clear ever since he noticed him on the interview for admissions. “He was excellent…he had definitely outshone others each in phrases of mental information and articulation. He was an all-rounder with super potential. It’s a giant loss,” he stated.

On Thursday, the faculty paid tributes to Satyam Jha on the digital morning meeting and the Historical past division suspended courses for the day. Late night, a candlelight gathering was held in his reminiscence.

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