Two students died by suicide in Kota, Rajasthan, last Sunday. The students were preparing for admission to medical colleges. This increases the total number of students who committed suicide in Kota this year to 24. One of the students was a 17-year-old NEET aspirant. He was living with his grandparents in Kota for almost three years. He jumped from the sixth floor of a coaching institute. He was in Class 12 and hails from Maharashtra’s Latur district. On the same day, within just 4 hours, an 18-year-old student also committed suicide. He came from Bihar and was also preparing for the medical entrance exam. He was found hanging in his hostel room. The officials stated that he was living with his sister and cousin, who were preparing for NEET.
According to police officials, the suicide cases of students in Kota are rising. Around 2015, there were around 17 students who committed suicide, and then the rates in the subsequent years were 20, 8, and 16 students. In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the numbers witnessed a fall. This is because most students were home due to the lockdowns. In 2022, the number went up to 15.
SP Bhagwat Singh Hingar stated in an interview with a portal that the 17-year-old had reached the sixth floor as soon as he left the classroom after taking a test; and after that, he committed suicide. Both cases occurred due to low marks on their test papers reportedly. The district collector, OP Bunkar, stated that there will be no tests for the next two months; if any coaching centre is found conducting a test, then legal action will be taken.
The administrative officials are taking serious actions to reduce the number of suicide cases in Kota, as it is one of the biggest coaching hubs in India. To cope with the situation, the authorities had organised a stress-free programme for students earlier.
According to Akhil Agarwal, a psychiatrist from Kota, students usually commit suicide due to peer pressure and mental stress. Most of them are promising students, but get low marks and feel that they will not be able to fulfil their parents’ expectations. He also said that the administration should conduct an examination to determine whether the students will be able to handle such mental pressure or not. He mentioned that parents shouldn’t pressure their students into becoming doctors or engineers. Students should also have relaxation sessions or some sort of entertainment, he stated.
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