Dear Fellow Students, Life Is More Than Just Cracking IIT, Medical And UPSC

Every year in the months of May and June, we see smiling faces of those children and their guardians who either scored a high percentile in their board examination or cracked IIT, Medical or some other competitive examination. But at the same time, we hear heartbreaking news of students committing suicides because of failure in their board or competitive examination.

According to a WHO report, suicides rates are higher in persons aged 70 or above for both men and women in almost all regions of the world but the situation seems to be just the opposite in India.

Poor financial conditions, forced career choices, failure in examination combined with the feeling of low self-esteem has created a horrific situation of suicides rates in India. According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), every hour, one student commits suicide in India. In another shocking report, The Lancet stated that India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates for youth aged between 15 to 29 years.

In present times, qualifying exams like IIT, NEET or UPSC not only gives students a promising career but also increases the prestige of their family. Thus, students across the spectrum in our country have been forced to pursue certain disciplines rather than their own hobby or creative career choices, which, in turn, leads to students preparing for these examinations in cities like Kota, which are crowded with coaching centres. And failure to crack these examinations along with harsh words from their parents and relatives leads to depression and later suicides.

It is a situation for which the whole society along with government is to be blamed. A rotten education system which respects no talent and a youth-life overburdened by dreams of parents have made life hell for the youth of this country.

Apart from these, rising number of mental illnesses like depression has been met with apathy, with the government only spending 0.06% of its health budget on mental healthcare services. Currently, there are fewer than 5,000 psychiatrists and even fewer clinical psychologists – about 2,000 – in a country of more than 1.3 billion people.

The solution thus lies in parents, teachers, students, society and government all playing their active part in lowering the stress level and improving the mental well-being of the youth.

Parents need to encourage their children to pursue careers of their own choice rather than pressurising them to follow socially-approved paths. Teachers need to identify students facing mental stress and help them to find a way out. The society needs to create a healthy and cooperative environment for students. And the government needs to do more to address the problem of mental health and to reform our education system.

Above all students needs to understand that failures are a part of life. Qualifying competitive exams like IIT, NEET or UPSC are important for a good career and well-settled life but are not more important than life itself. One needs to adjust with failures and feel happy for what they have.

The famous lines from “Aal Izz Well” from “3 Idiots” comes to mind: “ Koi na jaane apna future kya hoga, to hont ghuma, seeti baja, seeti baja ke bol bhaiya aal izz well (No one knows what our future holds, so curl your lips, whistle and say brother all is well). ”

Similar Posts

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.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below