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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Rising student suicides: Pressure to perform tightening the noose - TNN


Preeti Biswas | TNN | Sep 1, 2017, 08:16 IST

HYDERABAD: A spurt in student suicides across Telangana, including those by intermediate and school students, has sent alarm bells ringing after as many as 25 cases were reported in the last two and a half months. 

Student suicides are becoming increasingly common in Hyderabad, considered the capital of IIT coaching after Kota in Rajasthan. This, child rights activists alleged, is because parents and commercial coaching centres are pressurising students into striving for unrealistic goals. 

The recent case of a 19-year-old second-year intermediate student of a corporate college in Bachupally stands testimony to this.His was the third student suicide to rock the city in August this year. 

"Of the 25 suicides that were registered in the past few months, 12 were boys and 13 were girls. Nine of the 25 cases were reported from Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts," said Achyutha Rao ,honorary president, Balala Hakula Sangham, a child rights NGO, which has filed a petition with the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), seeking action against educational institutions over the rising cases of student suicides. 

The SHRC issued a notice to the principal secretary of education, Ranjeeva Acharya, on Thursday , seeking a report on the increasing student suicides in educational institutions by November 16, 2017. 

According to experts, those preparing for various exams are most vulnerable. "Society needs to realise the im portance of talking to youth about the stress they go thro ugh during this time and pa rents who may be setting un realistic career expectations for their children," said Mur lidhar S, chief executive offi cer & founder, Lodestar Care er Guidance.

Under fire from child rights activists, manage ments of educational institu tes blamed the rising suicide rate on parental pressure. 

The Narayana Group, which runs a chain of junior colleges, has now decided to formalise the counselling process to prevent student suicides. "By establishing a separate wing, we have deci ded to appoint 10 qualified co unsellors to counsel students across all our institutions.


We also intend to hold workshops for parents in the next three months to ensure that there is better communication between the students, teachers and parents," said Vijaya Lakshmi, head for the learning and development department, Narayana Group of Educational Institutions.