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NBBDC Students stage protest over sudden death of a student: College administration to set up enquiry

A sudden death of 20-year-old shakes students and college administration of Nar Bahadur Degree College. On June 28, Sam Tshering Lepcha perusing his bachelor degree from Nar Bhadhur Bhandari Degree College dies under mysterious circumstances. As per the information received, around 10:30 am he fainted inside the college building, then after he was rushed to central referral hospital and on reaching the hospital he was declared death by doctors.

A day after his demise on June 29 students gather inside the college campus demanding a written apology from the administration and immediate setup of a dispensary inside college along with medical professionals.

Addressing the media, a classmate of the deceased stated, “ I am Sam Tshering’s best friend we have been studying together since class 6 and the incident that happened yesterday was shocking, whatever the reason for the death may be, but he would have been given immediate medical attention and  would have been saved.”

Narrating the incident of June 28 he said, “Yesterday after he fell unconscious we sought for help from a teacher, but we felt that teachers neglected and didn’t give much attention and after sometime Principal arrived, and he provided us with his vehicle and then after few minutes one alto car was managed, and we started for CRH from the college premises, but the main problem was despite the seriousness of the illness the alto driver didn’t even bother to rush and later when we reached the hospital the doctors declared him death”

After the death of the 20 years old student the students have demanded a written apology from the faculty and administrator of the college, “We want a written apology from the faculties and college administrators stating that, ‘we have done mistake, we didn’t take the matter seriously’ should be mentioned on the apology and that particular apology should be given to the mother of the deceased” he added

Furthermore, the students also demanded immediate setup of dispensary along with doctor and ambulance, “We want administration to setup dispensary or else we shall continue the protest”

Principal, Dr D Purhohit stated, “I was very much concerned, and my reaction time was 10 minutes. I completely understand the sentiments of the students and regarding the apology we will set up an enquiry committee and if there has been negligence then we will surely write an apology”

However, in process. The demands made by students the college administration has issued a  letter to fulfil the demands of the students, “As per the letter of demand from the students, dated 29.06.2022, the college administration, faculty members and staff members of NBBGC, Tadong, hereby assure you that demands placed by the students will be fulfilled within two months (as per the verbal time frame demanded by the students). Till the demand is fulfilled, temporary arrangements will be made and vehicles will be allocated for medical purposes.” Reads the letter

Chief  Minister Prem Singh Tamang on June 28  over the demise of 20 years old student expressed his condolences, “The untimely demise of Sam Tshering Lepcha, a 1st year student pursuing at Nar Bahadur Bhandari Degree College comes as a great shock. According to the autopsy report, he was suffering from Emphysema, leading to lung failure.In this hour of grief, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and friends and pray for the departed soul to rest in eternal peace.”

Similarly, Political Secretary to Chief Minster Jacob Khaling who took stock of the situation at CRH on June 28 stated that, “On enquiring the reason or cause of death with the doctor, he was suffering from a non-curable disease called Emphysema. It is a lung condition that causes shortness of breath. In people with emphysema, the air sacs in the lungs (alveoli) are damaged. Over time, the inner walls of the air sacs weaken and rupture — creating larger air spaces instead of many small ones. This reduces the surface area of the lungs and, in turn, the amount of oxygen that reaches your bloodstream.”

All Sikkim Students Welfare Forum on June 29 over the death said, “It is very sad to know the death of a student of Nar Bahadur Bhandari Degree College Mr. Sam Tshering Lepcha from Dentam West Sikkim. We have heard from the close friends of Mr. Lepcha that the teachers denied for the vehicle and the administration did not take seriously about the matter, and they had to hire a commercial vehicle to take Mr. Lepcha to Hospital.”

“The College which is the oldest higher educational institution in the State did not have dispensary, which is indeed a sad reality to know as this is also the most preferred Government college of the state and the public presume that this institution is well-equipped with all the facilities that an educational institution needs, but the incident has proved that the institution even lacks the basic medical facilities.”

“As per information according to the autopsy report he was suffering from Emphysema, but the main thing here is that even if he was suffering from that disease he could be saved if emergency medical facility was available in the College.”  added the statement

Albert Gurung of Reform Call on June 28 stated, “The news of the untimely demise of Sam Tshering Lepcha, a 20-year-old student of the Nar Bahadur Bhandari Degree College, Tadong is very painful and unfortunate. We extend our sincere condolences to the parents, family and friends of the young student. A loss of a young life is extremely painful, and every effort should be made to assure that such tragedy doesn’t befall on any other individual.”

“Nar Bahadur Bhandari Degree College is a premier educational institute of the state and caters to more than 4000 candidates. Any centre with such concentration of students should have a primary health responder and primary health facilities to respond to any health emergencies that arise at the campus. This is perhaps a serious question that needs to be asked not just for the college in question, but for all educational institutions in the state.” He added

“We cannot wait for a tragedy to learn our lessons but need to be thoughtful in our planning to avoid such tragedies from befalling on anyone.” added his statement

Suraj Khaling, General Secetary, Student front, Sikkim Democratic Party said “It is a terrible tragedy that we have lost a fellow student, Mr Sam Tshering Lepcha today. Mr Sam Tshering was 20 years old and was currently studying at Nar Bahadur Bhandari Degree College in the second semester (B.Com). The reasons for his untimely demise are still unknown but it is believed he breathed his last while on the way to Central Referral Hospital from the college campus where he suddenly collapsed. It is alleged that his life could have been saved, had there been a mode of transport ready for medical emergencies at the college campus. Such an unfortunate case has occurred in the heart of the capital of Sikkim, where hospitals like STNM and Central Referral Hospital are located. What may be the case then for students in areas such as Mangshila, Geyzing and Soreng? This incident has raised many questions for  the Education Department and the Sikkim Government administration to take into serious consideration.”

“We demand that the government immediately provide a vehicle at each college of Sikkim to ensure that no other family has to lose their son or daughter due to late treatment in the case of a medical emergency. We also demand that an enquiry committee be created to look into the cause of demise of Mr Sam Tshering Lepcha as well as  to study the status of medical facilities in all college campuses of Sikkim. Basic first aid must also be taught at the schools and colleges, such as Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) so that students can aid another in the case of cardiac arrest. A dispensary was provided to NBBDC during the SDF government, but it has come to our notice that the dispensary is now closed down. The dispensary must also be immediately made functional so that students can access medical aid and medication right at their campus.” He added

“Mr Sam Tshering lost his life too soon, and it is a great tragedy for the student body of Sikkim to lose a bright young student just at the beginning of his academic career. On behalf of the entire SDF party, we, the SDF Student Front, extend our deepest condolences to Mr Sam Tshering Lepcha’s family and dear ones. Mr Sam Tshering was from Dentam, West Sikkim, and he is the son of  Mr PT Lepcha, Lower Bongten, Maneybong Dentam. We extend our heartfelt condolences and prayers to the bereaved family.” Added his statement

As per the police report, “During the course of investigation an inquest over the dead body was conducted after which the body was forwarded for autopsy and after its completion the body was handed over to its legal guardian.”

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