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Save Our Students Drive

– Mohammed Atherulla Shariff

Bangalore city is infamous as capital of suicides too. Since recent past suicide rates are on the rise. Though the city is a hub of IT companies and professional and other educational institutions, suicide rate in these sectors is also huge compared to other sections of the society. Especially students are falling prey to this tendency due to various reasons.

Competition pressure, parental aspiration even against their wards’ ability and aptitude, and harassment are some of the reasons assessed by concerned citizens who have come forward to save the situation. An event ‘Save Our Students’ was held in Bengaluru recently dedicated to ending the mistreatment and harassment of students in educational institutions. The event was organised by Dusyant Dubey, a Bengaluru-based activist and the family of Aditya Prabhu, a 19-year-old student, who died by suicide on July 17 after alleged harassment by the college administration.

Mind Workshop’s founder Dr. Ushy Mohandas, speaking on the occasion, said, “We need to create stronger children than repair adults.”

Actor and social activist Yamuna Srinidhi stressed that ‘we need to speak about our failures and weaknesses also. Children should be impressed upon that life is not all about success, failure is natural.’

Former city police Chief Bhaskar Rao recalled his experiences and emphasised counselling the students in particular. He narrated how counselling helped police to cope with such events. He is of the opinion that universities need to tone down academic pressure on students.

Data released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows the share of students among suicide victims in India grew enormously over past decade; 13,089 students died by suicide in 2021. This represents a 70% increase from 7,696 student suicides in 2011. The share of students among India’s overall suicide victims has also increased. It stood at 8% of the total in 2021, having grown by 2.3 percentage points since 2011.

Failure in examination was listed as the cause of suicide in 1,673 cases in 2021. Out of this, 991 victims were male and 682 were female. Other major reasons for suicide reflected in the report are family problems, love affairs, mental illness, and discrimination.

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