What bothers everyone in the family is the reason for his death

My brother killed himself if only we knew he was being bulliedBengaluru victims sister
news Monday, July 04, 2016 - 22:41

Four days after 14-year-old Raunak Banerjee killed himself, his older sister Sreetama is looking for signs in his behaviour that could have hinted at his intentions or pain.

The day before Raunak jumped off the roof of their apartment in Benglauru’s JP Nagar area, Raunak was down with fever but was looking forward to going to school on Wednesday.

“My mother even asked him whether he wanted to go to school as he was unwell. While my mother now wishes he had said no, she said he looked pretty excited about going to school,” said Sreetama.

Eighteen-year-old Sreetama is yet to come to terms with her brother’s death. What bothers everyone in the family is the reason for his death.

“I haven’t read Raunak’s letter, but my father told me that he had mentioned a bus mate bullied him and that he couldn’t take it anymore. We have no idea whether this happened only for a day, or since school reopened on June 1,” she said.

Describing her brother as someone who was scared of heights and darkness, Sreetama says that the whole incident seems surreal. The family was close.

“We would have a conversation during dinner, during which all four of us would discuss our day. Raunak has always been the one who would add humour to the conversation by saying something funny. He didn’t discuss bad things about anyone,” Sreetama says.

The meeting in Raunak’s school on Monday was painful. Initially the school did not co-operate when her father said they wanted to speak to a few children who interacted with Raunak.

“But today when my father visited the school, he decided not to meet the children. He felt there might be a good chance his impulsive questioning of any child might have a counter-effect on the child. We will wait for the police to go ahead with the investigation,” said Sreetama.

But in the meanwhile, she strongly feels that school management must take bullying seriously and the government must have comprehensive laws to tackle it as soon as possible. Her cousin Dyuti has started a Change.org petition urging Education Minister Tanveer Sait to launch a state-wide anti-bullying awareness programme.

“Children and school managements should know what’s the worst that can happen, when they overlook such issues,” says Sreetama, as she rushes to check on her mother, who hasn’t stopped crying since Wednesday.

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