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The True Picture Behind The Suicides In Colleges: What We Think And What Happens

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By Ayush Bhuyan:

On a lazy afternoon last month I woke up from an 8 hour slumber after pulling an all-nighter to finish my assignments. I was probably woken up by the chaos outside my room in the hostel lawn. I rushed outside to see a large crowd and an ambulance. I could see horrified people. I immediately deduced, -another suicide. But I was emotionless, neutral. I did not feel sad or shocked, maybe because it’s getting so common in my college. What actually aroused some emotion in me was the news article the next morning.

The first thing that pops up when thinking of a suicide in IIT is “Academic pressure”. Well that’s exactly what the news article ranted and glorified and I thought to myself “Ah fools, ignorant as always”.

IITs undoubtedly have one of the most rigorous curriculums in the world and why wouldn’t it be? After all it conducts the toughest entrance exam for it. I really don’t think someone with a calibre to clear IIT-JEE would not have the potential of getting at least a 6 pointer with even the least effort. So, academics can be really messed up only if an attempt is deliberately made.

What sometimes actually happens is an “ego clash” rather than actual bad grades. Everybody in IIT is a prior school topper and used to it before getting in. So, those who are weak or mentally immature, develop an inferiority complex when they see equals to themselves. I have seen a friend getting into acute depression because of this. What I don’t understand is why do people come in with such attitude? Why don’t they understand that the mindless race for grades ends with the immature and futile phase of education that is schooling? IIT , in fact a college in general is a place to actually learn, experiment and apply, not to compare your grades with guy next door. It’s more of a place where you develop your personality and inner self; grades are just to disguise the process.

Besides these I don’t see any other reason for such a major step. Reasons could of course be a failed love affair, depression due to death in family or financial crisis etc., but those are not related to IIT, these problems will continue to exist and there’s nothing much that can be done.

Oh and by the way speaking of love affairs and adding a bit of humour to the article, lack of women in the campus could be one major reason for suicides. The female to male ratio is just 10%! Okay, jokes apart.

So, the fault is not in the system. It is not IIT’s fault if it considers its students to have unreal potential. It was you who decided to prepare for IIT-JEE and how can you expect all milk and roses when the entrance itself is tough as hell? So, if you mess up your grades you don’t have to rush to the market and get a rope to hang yourself. It’s your fault and you can’t get away with it doing nothing, which is cowardly. Why punish the people who care for you with something that you have done? What will haunt your parents for most of their lives is not your loss but the thought that their child was so weak and pathetic. Many would say what if the person’s situation is rotten and there was no other option left, seriously? If grades are not improving and you’re frustrated and just when you think there’s no hope left, just throw the damn books away, tear them apart, and burn them! Get outside, get some sun! Go party hard; go out with your girlfriend. Dance on the streets because no matter how bad things get now it’s still better than death.

Remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life. Stay happy.

Image: A scene from the movie 3 Idiots.

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  1. Nirupama

    I partly disagree with the content of this post. ” It was you who decided to prepare for IIT-JEE and how can you expect all milk and roses when the entrance itself is tough as hell? ” Seemingly true statement but far from reality in the inner sense. Clearing of an IIT-JEE exam does not mean that the student did it whole heartedly and willingly. His parents,peers and the system have put so much pressure on him that he feels that if he clears that particular exam, then people will let go of him. But it is not so. When he enters college, he finds a similar environment and takes the extreme step. Thus parents,teachers and the society at large are responsible for this oft repeated crime of pushing their wards into a passionless degree. You cannot blame the students. Never.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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Find out more about the campaign here.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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