After the tragedy on the evening of 22nd February, 2017, in the city of Olathe, Kansas, a hopeful light has ignited. According to the Times of India, Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s peers raised 45,702,896 INR (684,335 USD), to return him to India. In addition, the funds will be utilized in efforts against hate crimes.
Ian Grillot, the American, was also shot while attempting to restrain the shooter. This event has brought him and Madasani together as friends. Alok Madasani, the survivor, was recorded by CNN as saying, “I can say with confidence [the shooting] is not what this country believes in and what this community believes in.”
Many fear that this tragedy may adversely impact Indians at home and abroad. During interviews, the survivors of the shooting, including Kuchibhotla’s widow and Madasani’s father, have made statements that America is unsafe for international students. Universities across the country are conscious of the fear that has built up through the infamous events of hate crimes. American campuses, including Methodist University (MU), have taken precautions to prevent these incidents from occurring. Measures that MU has taken includes being a gated community and prohibiting any weapons on campus. All staff, faculty, and students go through mandatory training to respond to an active shooter. This acquired knowledge empowers the community to protect themselves on and off campus.
Karan Padmakumar, a sophomore at MU, has given a testimonial on his experience in America. “I work with Americans on a daily basis. I work with people who would be incorrectly perceived as racists–people from the south, white middle-class males and military veterans. They have been nothing but hospitable and respectful to me. They are some of the most open-minded people I have ever met.”
When asked for a statement on how he believed the tragedy is being portrayed by the media, he said. “The news here is similar to the news in India. People only focus on the few bad things that are happening. It’s not often that they publicize the good aspects of the country. You never hear about the time when American families selflessly host international students at their homes. You only hear about the one guy in the 300 million who did something terrible.” He plans to focus on his academics and continue to meet and build relationships with the people around him regardless of their race or nationality.
Reference: Indian Hurt in Kansas Shooting