According to recently released data by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), suicide among students has nearly doubled in the 2010s, compared to 2000s.
Such reports generate pessimism regarding the future of the youth in our country. India is aspiring to become a superpower with global ambitions. Youth will have a crucial role to play in advancing India’s high global and domestic targets.
But, the demographic window of opportunity to harness their potential is available for a limited period of time. India is missing this opportunity by not taking adequate steps in ensuring their well-being and healthy development.
As per NCRB data, family issues, illness and love affairs are among the major reasons for high prevalence of suicides among students.
But this reasoning is oversimplified. Suicide is an extreme step as a result of plethora of socio-psychological factors that culminate over a long period of time.
This period can extend from few days to years. The preparation time for suicide is exactly when some positive intervention can prevent it from happening. So, what could be the factors responsible?
Parents pressurise their wards to keep performing. Failing their expectations in the world of competition, students contemplate suicide to escape from day-to-day life of neglect, condemnation and ridicule.
Mental health is the most neglected aspect of our society. When students are exposed to world of competition, they undergo many changes. Those who are unable to cope up with the rapid pace of life, they often feel abandoned and worthless. This initiates the feeling of depression that later takes a larger form.
Social parameters established by society expect students and adolescents to behave in a particular manner. When they fail to fit in, they are tabooed and often ostracised. Depression is considered as a stigma that deters people to speak out about their condition.
Almost all of us have faced the peer pressure in our life. But today, it’s playing a larger role in shaping the thought-process and actions. As a result, students are indulging in practices that don’t suit them and later turn out to be disastrous for their well-being.
21st century education is only producing products that can be sold in the job market. Important aspects of education like mental well-being, happiness, positive thinking , etc. are completely sidelined.
The list is inexhaustible. So, I’m confining the causes to broadly five aforementioned categories.
It’s not that people dealing with suicidal thoughts cannot be identified. In last three years, three of my friends died by suicide. They all exhibited some common symptoms that we all failed to identify and alas! We lost them. Here are signs you should watch out for
1. Turning into an introvert.
2. Absence of mind and being lost.
3. Not socially participative.
4. Constantly looking for someone to talk.
5. Pessimism and a dull outlook.
They are not easily identifiable but those who are close in relation and proximity like friends, family members, teachers, etc. can easily observe the sudden change in behaviour.
The objective of writing this article is to make students and teenagers understand that suicide can also be a result of immaterial emotions, and that it is possible to conquer/overcome this.
In his book Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch Albom wrote, “The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own.”
We are all fighting a battle inside our mind. But they are nothing against our strong will power and determination. We should not let ourselves be clad in the costume that society wants us to wear. We can stitch our own oufit that suits us.
The end of one opportunity is the opening of myriad possibilities. This is the end that heralds a new beginning. We should not let one chapter of life to become the whole story.
At the end, I want to remind that suicide of students reflect the collective failure of society, from parents to government. Reports like the one released by NCRB must set the alarm bells ringing across the nation. But unfortunately, nobody seems to pay attention to this and the future looks bleak.