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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Kota Deaths: Stop pushing your children against the wall - Saharasamay

Kota Deaths: Stop pushing your children against the wall

Another young life snuffed out, is anyone listening? The generation won’t pardon you for forcing your dreams on them

 The suicide of a 17 year old is a blot on society be it India or anywhere in the world. It's not as if India’s population is so high that one or two deaths don't cause a ripple.But it really doesn't matter to the media.
 Story in a national daily  story from Jaipur reads ‘Civil Society eerily silent on Kota student suicides’.
That is of unfortunately very true. There is hardly any discussion on the social media on this issue that concerns each of us, which is so totally engrossed with the Agusta deal.

Kriti happens to be the 25th student to have ended her life in Kota in the last 16 months. By the time of going to press I believe there has been another suicide. I am not surprised. This Mecca of engineering aspirants admits 1.25 lakh students every year, each hopeful of getting into the IITs.

 It is another matter that the story of ‘Revolution 2020’, a delightful novel of Chetan Bhagat dealing with Kota (who knows it better than him) shows how a student who had failed to get into IIT becomes the owner of an engineering college while the idealistic hero who had qualified on merit comes back at the end of the novel to ask him for a job.

 Apart from statistics ,what is more frightening is the reason for her suicide.She had not failed the test. She wrote in her note that she had failed to fulfil the hopes of her parents because her rank was not good enough to get her into an IIT

 Getting into the IIMs is ever tougher. There the students are given percentiles and sometimes the system is so tough that even a 100 percentile is not enough to get into the IIM.

 So what options do those getting 99 percentile have, commit suicide? This is a really bizarre state of affairs but is anyone paying attention at the monstrosity of the situation?

 Parents whose children are studying in school will switch off their TV sets because such news will put their children off.But what about others? Does hiding our heads in the sand like ostriches solve the problem where a 17 year old girl has to end her life because she had not made it to the IIT.? What was her age? She could have taken another try next year or the next.

 I am reminded of the time when a student of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun had committed suicide. It sent shock waves in newspapers but when I asked the then PRO of IMA off the record, his comment send a chill down my spine,”If you ask me it's good he died here. Had he shown such cowardice on the war front he would have let down an entire regiment and ultimately the country.”

He reminded me that the motto of the IMA was:

 It turned out later that the brilliant cadet had told his friends that he was very upset by the abuses hurled at him by his trainers because he had come from a very educated family.

The PRO justified this too by saying that they wanted their cadets to be ready for the rough and unpredictables of life. Preparing for tough days? They could have put him in a lion’s cage or asked him to kill a snake and eat it for survival as some commandos are trained to do. But getting him used to choicest abuses? He was getting into a career not getting married ,I felt like telling the PRO.
But that is digressing.

 I feel very pained that we are putting our youths under so much pressure to score marks so that schools and coaching institutes can publish their pictures in newspapers to get more admissions next year.

 On the other hand engineering institutes have sprung up like mushrooms all over the country. In the South every politician runs an institute and a newspaper. To fill up their seats they keep on lowering the cut off percentage every year. Elsewhere the situation is no better.

 The result is that a few years back when gangs of chain snatchers were caught in Noida most of them turned out to be B Tech? They had spent so much money on obtaining their degrees that this was the only way to recover that because no one was employing them.

 Why are parents still forcing their children to take up Science when so many options are now available? One of  the theories behind Kriti’s suicide was that she never wanted to be an engineer. This bias against pure Science and Arts has led to a situation where universities teaching these subjects are not getting students and research is suffering.

 No wonder none of the Indian Universities figure in the list of top 200 of the world. So our ingenious HRD Minister has to resort to self certification to give ranks to our own universities to get some leverage for her hard work.

Source: IANS, Other Agencies, Staff Reporters