‘I find strength in his legacy’: Rohith Vemula’s mother on his birthday

Radhika Vemula released a statement on January 30, her son Rohith’s birth anniversary.
‘I find strength in his legacy’: Rohith Vemula’s mother on his birthday
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Rohith Vemula’s legacy is one of resilience, courage, and justice, his mother Radhika said on January 30, his birth anniversary. A PhD scholar at the University of Hyderabad, Rohith died by suicide eight years ago due to caste discrimination and ostracisation on campus. In a statement, Radhika said, “On this solemn day, my heart aches with both the joy of remembering my beloved son Rohith and the pain of his absence. As Rohith’s mother, I carry his memory with me every day, cherishing the moments we shared and mourning the dreams he could not fulfil. Yet, amidst the sorrow, I find strength in his legacy—a legacy of resilience, courage, and unwavering commitment to justice.”

Rohith’s death, which happened on January 17, 2016, was termed an ‘institutional murder’ and galvanised protests across India, particularly regarding caste discrimination in educational institutions. His tragic death continues to be an inflection point in the anti-caste movement. His death anniversary continues to be observed each year as Rohith Shahadath Din.

Read: 4 years after his death, Rohith Vemula lives on as the face of dissent in universities 

Radhika Vemula further said in her statement, “On his birth anniversary, I vow to continue the fight for the causes he held dear, to speak truth to power, and to strive for a world where no mother suffers the loss I have endured. Happy birthday, my dear Rohith. Your light continues to guide us, even in the darkest of times.”

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.
Tamil Nadu

State health department's suicide helpline: 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)
Andhra Pradesh
Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930
Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584
Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222
Maithri: 0484 2540530
Chaithram: 0484 2361161
Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.
State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104
Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200
SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm
Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.
24x7 Helpline: 9820466726
Click here for working helplines across India

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