Topic: General Studies 1 & 2:
- Social empowerment
- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Human Resources.
Student Suicides: Young Lives Matter:
Context: India has the highest suicide rate amongst 15-29-year-olds globally and this rate has been increasing
Present Scenario of Student Suicides
- Overall, India saw 1.3 lakh suicides in 2018, of which students made up 8%, almost the same as those involved in the farming sector, while 10% of them were unemployed people.
- While 28,000 students committed suicide between 1999-2003, by 2014-18 this number had increased to 46,554
- Every hour one student commits suicide in India, with about 28 such suicides reported every day, according to data compiled by NCRB
- The NCRB data shows that 10,159 students died by suicide in 2018, an increase from 9,905 in 2017, and 9,478 in 2016.
- Maharashtra had the highest number of student suicides in 2018 with 1,448 — almost 4 suicides every day — followed by Tamil Nadu with 953 and Madhya Pradesh with 862.
Reasons for Students Committing Suicide:
- Academic Stress- A quarter of the student suicides in 2018 were because of “failure in exams”. Suicides even in premier institutes such as IITs hold a mirror to the stressful education system.
- Relationship breakdown is another leading cause.
- Lack of adequate support: A student commits suicide when he doesn’t get emotional support at the time of crisis
- High expectations from Students: Parental and peer pressure also have an adverse effect on mental health of students which leads to suicidal tendencies. Kota, primarily known as a coaching centre hub, has seen a series of student deaths every year. 58 students ended their lives in Kota between 2013 and 2017.
- Social Stigma: not enough discussion around depression and suicides
- Mental Issues: Anxiety disorder, depression, personality disorder — all these result in mental illness that leads a student towards suicide.
Steps that can be taken
- Social Awareness: The first step is to start a serious debate on the issue in schools and colleges
- Academic Support Groups by College administration: Teachers and College staff should form groups which identifies people who are not performing well in academics and provide them with special coaching/guidance.
- Counselling centres in Colleges: This may help student have an avenue to get proper psychiatric guidance on dealing with their emotional/mental issues
- Helplines by NGO and Civil Society Groups: This can help those who are having suicidal tendencies
- Leveraging Social media groups: while technology is rightly blamed for increasing self-imposed isolation and alienation, especially among the young, it can also be part of the solution—chatbots that are intended to fight depression among humans by addressing loneliness are an example.
Connecting the Dots
- Farmer Suicides
- Mental Health Act – that has decriminalised suicidal attempts
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