Introduction to Testimonials

Testimonials are anonymised stories from individuals, and they form the centre of these Notes.

Why?

Our manifesto talks about the “unequal relations of power between student and teacher”, the “exclusion of disadvantaged groups and differently-abled peoples and in the prevalence of caste- and gender-based discrimination”, the “proliferation of fiefdoms and spheres of influence”, and the “high rates of depression and the all-too-frequent suicides.” These may seem like just strings of words but we strongly believe that they are concrete forms of violence against the students. They cause real pain and harm, sometimes more than physical violence.

These testimonials are our attempt to document these forms of violence and their effects systematically. There are no easy answers for how to do this; for example, statistical analysis of dropout rates can tell an important story but it can’t tell us about the concrete, everyday abuses that caused them and their long-term effects.

We want to let people tell their stories since that is what matters.

Who Should Write a Testimonial?

You.

How Should I Proceed?

Send us your story. In any format that you’re comfortable with.

If you’re not sure how to start, we have prepared a list of questions that are intended to serve as prompts. You can find these questions here.

Privacy Policy

We are firmly committed to maintaining, under all circumstances, the anonymity of our respondents for the testimonial section. To maintain your anonymity, we encourage you to submit your testimonials via one of two tracks:

  1. You may submit your testimonial to an individual editor, for any reason — their contact information is available on the Who We Are page. They will forward your testimonial to the editorial board with the names/e-mail addresses/institutional affiliations redacted.
  2. You can also send your testimonial directly to our Proton Mail address. In this case, only the Coordinating Editor (currently, Shivani U.) has access to your e-mail. They will then forward your submission to one of the editors with the name/e-mail address/institutional affiliation redacted. 

In either track, the editor in question will have some questions for you to verify that your submission is in good faith. The redacted testimonial, once forwarded to the editorial team, will then be at most lightly edited for language and clarity, and after you OK the edits, the testimonial will be published.

The only case in which a second editor will have knowledge of the source e-mail address will be when the editor you choose to contact is unavailable for some reason. In other cases, only one editor will have this knowledge.

Since the coordinating editor is a rotating position, we also have a policy in place to ensure that the knowledge of the source e-mail address does not pass on to future coordinating editors.

In summary, at all times at most one or two members of the editorial board will know the source e-mail address.

A Disclaimer

We will under all circumstances maintain full anonymity of writer, and do not make any claims about the truth of these stories. We are curators, not investigative journalists. It is our belief that individual miscommunications, faulty memories and fabrications do not affect the larger stories that all these testimonials as a whole can tell. Our reasoning is that true stories are numerous enough, and severe enough, that these instances will remain isolated.