Suicide is, undoubtedly, one of the most heartbreaking ways to die. It not only leaves loved ones devastated, but also makes them wonder what could have gone wrong in the victim’s life. It is often easy to call the victim weak, sissy, or even not tough enough, but one must always understand the circumstances surrounding one’s decision to take their own life and then put forward opinions.

As it is known by many, India records one of the highest cases of suicides in the world. It is definitely not something to boast about and speaks a lot about the state of our country’s mental health condition. After all, a person does not commit suicide out of sheer enjoyment of curiosity, but when something goes really downhill in their lives.

Every year, we read in the news about students committing suicide. Students from several colleges around the country tend to take the brash decision upon matters that they think might land them in deep trouble. In India, we tend to equate failure with not being good enough. Once a student fails in a subject, or an entire year, they are looked down upon as not a good student or some who would go on to clean people’s shoes. They are rather discouraged than encouraged, and that is one major issue.

Often, students are forced to pick streams that they are not fond of. A child, who is passionate about making music in the future is forced to pick a field that is respectable. A student with a talent in bookkeeping is convinced to delve into engineering because it is so much better and a job is always guaranteed. A lot of students make it, a lot don’t.

Another factor leading to students committing suicides is the pressure they face. Even 11 year olds, who are not old enough to have real crushes, are forced into coaching centres so as to get better prepared for the Joint Entrance Exams, something they would be appearing for at the age of 17-18. In the months leading up to the board examinations, especially in 12th grade, students are scared into thinking that they need to do well. Of course, we need to do very well, but we only wish the motivation was carried out in a loving manner and not with a dark theme to it.

Not everyone is meant for everything. It’s a sad reality that our education system doesn’t recognise talent outside the books. A girl, who so badly wants to become a cricketer and is good at it, might be forced into going through the conventional process and getting a 9-5 job. With a strong will, she might be able to get on by watching her passion go down the drain, or if not, she might go into depression, have hardly anyone to talk about, and end up taking her life.

Mental health is a huge issue here and more so often, students face the brunt of it. Being young, our minds are always fearful of the judgement we might receive if we open up to someone. I have seen friends take up science because of their parents and in the end, end up flunking in several subjects. It’s natural for parents and family to look out for their children, but if they recognised talent and ability instead of focussing on placement and money, things would be a lot better.

According to the Health Ministry, 1 in 3 suicides committed in India is by people between the ages of 15-19. If I am correct, the age range stands between 9th/10th grade and 1st/2nd year in college. That’s quite a little age gap for 33% of suicides carried out in the country, but it speaks a lot of the situation that needs to be corrected with time. Of course, a few of these include domestic issues, but it also speaks of the plight of the students.

Last year, a student had committed suicide because he had not been allowed to appear for a paper, due to low attendance. He was afraid that his future was in the waters. This year, a student took the decision because he had failed in a paper. All of them were college students. Read about Kota, Rajasthan here. In short, the article is about students as young as 12-13 years old sacrificing school, playtime and childhood in order to prepare for the Joint Entrance Exams. The article also mentions the 57 suicides committed by students residing in Kota over the last 5 years.

Suicide is no joke, even if orthodox minded people think of it to be. Like any other physical issue, mental health is also very real and should be looked at with the same consideration. It could prevent suicides, help save lives and thereby, a lot of raw and unforeseen talent.


 

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