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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Kota Collector Pens Emotional Letter to Parents of IIT Aspirants - The Quint

INDIA | 3 min read
Kota Collector Pens Emotional Letter to Parents of IIT Aspirants

The Quint

May 4, 2016, 7:33 pm

Worried about the disturbing rise in suicide rates in Kota, a concerned district collector has written a heartfelt letter to parents who send their children to the city for coaching.
Over the past years, the small Rajasthani city of Kota has earned a name for itself as the prime coaching location for the lakhs of aspirants who set their sights on a seat in the country’s best medical and engineering colleges.
However, in the past years, Kota has repeatedly found itself in the news for its high suicide rates among unhappy students.
District Collector Dr Ravikumar Surpur asked parents to allow their children to be free and encourage them to consider alternative career options to explore their full potential.

The Harsh Reality Behind Kota Suicides
Surpur says that he considers himself unfortunate to have read so many suicide notes from youngsters.
In their suicide notes, students have begged their parents not to force their younger siblings onto the same path. While others have apologised to their parents for not living up to their expectations. Others simply stated that learning science was not what they wanted.
Surpur explains that the students felt that death was a more peaceful, effortless escape from what their parents were forcing on them.
He implores parents to really listen to their children and not force them into careers that they don’t like. Furthermore, he stresses the importance of spending ample time with children without complaining.
Are we interested in making the child realise “Your Dreams” at any cost or should it be like creating such situations that the child realises “His/Her” Dreams, asks Surpur in his letter.

1.5 lakh students flock from other states to Kota’s multiple coaching centres to prepare for hyper-competitive exams like the IIT-JEE, AIPMT and AIEEE. (Photo : iStockphoto)
High Burnout Rates and Extreme Pressure Forces Students Over the Edge
According to a Times of India report, over 1.5 lakh students flock from other states to Kota’s multiple coaching centres to prepare for hyper-competitive exams like the IIT-JEE, AIPMT and AIEEE.
However, most of the students who come for coaching are unprepared for the mental strain that such intensive studying can have. With 18-hour study schedules and dismal living conditions, the students are faced with a high burnout rate which results in physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.
A report from NDTV claims that nineteen students killed themselves in 2015 why five have killed themselves this year.
According to psychologists, mental breakdowns, suicidal tendencies, headaches and other mental ailments have been commonplace amongst the students who are under constant pressure from their families, peers and teachers.

In January 2016, The Indian Express reported that Collector Surpur had written a letter to the students of the city urging them to really enjoy life and play games. The district administration also directed coaching institutes to have a “fun, no studies” day to relax.

Read the complete letter here.