Millennium Post

Suicide crisis

Suicide crisis

Suicide among students is becoming horrifyingly common and the recent cases in Telangana remind us of several matters that have gone out of order in the rush to an elusive better life. A 3rd year student of Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad allegedly committed by jumping off his hostel building on the premises of the IIT campus. He had reportedly communicated through a mail to his friends and some family members informing them that he had decided to end his life because he was lagging behind in studies. Yet another student hanged herself due to alleged harassment by lecturers. The mounting pressure on students and the relentless push in the direction of performing well, getting a job, settling down, running a life in way to gain social acceptability have all combined to cause many students to give up in this unfortunate manner. According to data from the NCRB, a student commits suicide every hour in India. Addressing this concern is more than necessary. India has one of the highest suicide rates among people aged 15 to 29 and this accounts for over a third of global suicides among women each year. Academic stress is a major reason for suicides among students in India and this is a pressure that does not end with school, or college, or with a course. Parents play a critical role in this regard as they help shape an individual's mind which may or may not harbour the thought of suicide. Considering the case of Rohith Vemulla, many argue that caste-based discrimination lies at the root of student suicides in India. In 2007, the Thorat Committee was set up to investigate allegations of harassment against students that belong to the scheduled castes and tribes at AIIMS and it found rampant discrimination against students, many of whom claimed that they were segregated and asked about their caste during examinations. Drawing from this is a point that institutional pressures are of crucial significance and the environment that a student lives in plays a decisive role. As much as institutional support is necessary, a favourable social system is the primary need to avert unfortunate incidences of suicide. The need for concerted effort to bring in education about prevention of suicide cannot be emphasised enough. Several factors contribute to a suicide and not all can be investigated but creating a positive environment in general and awareness of reasonable expectations and respect for mental health is the necessary first step to address the crisis of suicide among students.

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