Student Suicide in India: In the pursuit of scoring the highest marks in examinations, there lies a dark reality that has unfolded over the years – student suicide. Every year, several students with dreams in their eyes reach the holy destination ‘Kota.’ The place is a mecca for students who want to pursue engineering and medicine for their higher studies. However, amidst the bustling city, a silent crisis is gradually stretching its arms, where every now and then students find suicide a better option than their existence after unsuccessful attempts in some of the top-notch entrance exams.
A spate of teenage suicides in Kota has raised eyebrows. Also, the alarming situation is now becoming a cause of concern not just for parents, but for the Indian education system as well. According to NCRB 2021 data, 1.0% of students committed suicide due to failure in exams, whereas 1.6% of people lost their lives to suicide because of professional and career problems. Though the number may seem minuscule, it is creating an impact on students’ minds that is hard to erase.
Why students are committing suicide, and how does mental health play a pivotal role in these occurrences?
According to a report by Indian Express, the majority of suicidal cases have been reported among those between 15 to 30 years of age, making it the highest in the world in this age group. Students in Kota face unrelenting academic pressure in the run of qualifying for some of the well-known entrance exams in the fields of engineering and medicine.
Needless to say, exams such as NEET, JEE Advance, JEE Mains, and others are the prerequisite factors for students to be admitted to any top-notch college related to the field of engineering and medicine.
However, the continuous quest for competition for marks from one another has now brought students to a point where they have been fervently obsessed with the 90s and 100s. As a result, the unrelenting chase of maximum marks eclipses the mental health of a student.
Another factor that has an epoch-making role in a student’s deteriorating mental health is societal pressure. Students across the country come to Kota to fulfil some of their dreams and desires along with their parents. However, if they fail to do what was expected, the fear of shame and failure grapples, pushing a student’s mental health to the verge of collapse. The burden of fulfilling these expectations can cause unbearable stress for students. Hence, mental health at an atrophy stage could be a deciding factor for students to commit a major step of taking their lives.
How can parents contribute to saving a student’s life?
A parent always wants the best for their child. However, while wishing for the best, parents barely realize that jostling their kids to a point where coming back for their little ones could be extremely difficult. In such case scenarios, it is always advisable for parents to listen to children and understand what they really want to pursue for their higher studies.
Also, parents need to step in when they realize their kid’s mental health is under threat. At first, it would be hard to communicate with teenagers, but with time, the child will open up, making the flow of communication easy.
What are the preventions and measures taken by the Indian government to save students’ lives?
With massive suicides taking place in Kota, the entire system from parents to institutions has put its gaze on the students’ mental well-being. When once these students were not given even a half hour for their leisure, they are now inundated with a slew of measures to prevent them from taking one’s life. The government aims to introduce various fun activities including yoga classes, counseling sessions, and music festivals to break the monotonous schedule.
From mesh grills on the windows of hostels and paying guests to change ceiling fans of the accommodation from spring devices to function as an anti-suicide mechanism, the government and administration are taking measures to prevent one more loss of life due to educational expectations.
It is important to acknowledge the mental health struggles of a student and also to prioritize the well-being of students so that they feel valued. For every student who went through despair, there should be a community to understand their pain and struggle and also show them the needed empathy.