This afternoon an Indian student fell from the six floor of a building—presumably a dormitory—and died shortly thereafter. Fellow students rushed to contact Emergency but they failed to show up until 45 minutes after they were called. No one from Emergency services took responsibility for failing to arrive sooner and attempt to save the kid’s life. Hundreds of Indian students then took to the streets in an organized effort and marched through central Yerevan, specifically down Abovyan Street and through Republic Square. Apparently some students had already collected near the National Assembly building, towards which the students marching along Abovyan Street were presumably heading. I stopped one student who told me what had happened. I know that the majority of students from other countries live in the university dormitories located in the Zeitun district.
The problem is in my opinion it may have little to do with the fact that the student was Indian. Apathy and a general lack of urgency are mostly to blame here. If the student was Armenian I do not think Emergency services would have responded sooner. In fact, probably much later.
Thousands of students from India as well as other countries, such as China and Iran, study at Yerevan State University and have been for years now. Tuition fees in some situations are cheaper, admissions are less competitive, and technically students are studying abroad. Yerevan with its many academic institutions provides an ideal environment for studying.
But I must say that failing to provide services on time to someone who is indeed dying is unacceptable. It doesn’t matter who the person is or where he or she is from. I deal with the Armenian “to hell with it” and “it’s not my fault” attitudes on a daily basis here and it is infuriating. In this case it is utterly revolting.
Onnik Krikorian will undoubtedly be printing photos of the protests very soon on his blog.
I will post some of them here as well.
Labels: Social and Cultural