Is it appropriate to say that it is "just another" suicide in Kota, an IIT coaching hub in Rajasthan? I am afraid, yes. With this being the 12th suicide this year, the numbers are doing the talking.
Prince Kumar Singh arrived in Kota a month ago. But this 12th grade kid could do nothing more than hang himself. The post-mortem reports are awaited and police is yet to question the parents and his friends.
Who is to be blamed? The kid who couldn't take the pressure, parents for whom sometimes a degree is more important than a life or the education system of the country?
According to the experts, the whole education system exerts pressure on the mental health of the students.
As Kota is the IIT coaching hub of India, lets spare a few minutes to think why IIT is a big deal in our country. In the words of the first Prime Minister of the country, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru - IIT was built as something that "represents India's urges and India's future in the making". But over 60 years after its inception, it has become a lot of other things --- a middle class's escape from poverty, a status symbol, a dowry tag or maybe something how Rancho from Three Idiots puts it --- a pressure cooker.
But all this does not diminish the fervour of an IIT tag. Even if it results in students jumping of buildings or hanging themselves. Kota, the nerve centre of IIT coaching in India has produced many successful stories. But we are here to talk about the other side of the coin. We are here to talk about deaths of over 60 students in the past five years.
Factors that abet students to suicide
Keeping the most obvious one first, it is clear that the students’ lives revolve around their marks, and absolutely nothing else. And when half a number can make a lot of difference, the pressure is insane.
For many of them, money is a problem. Especially with the amount of money the coaching institutes charge. A regular student will need over six lakhs for two years to survive in Kota. This includes stay, fees of dummy school and hostel and tuition fees. Let's not even begin to explain the overheads. With this huge chunk of money spent, the pressure increases that sometimes makes forsaking life much easier than facing the troubles. Unfortunate, but evidently true.
Self-hatred is a factor
The competitive environment without a healthy competition is a dangerous place to live in which leaves the strongest people weak and fragile. The theory was evident in the five-page suicide note of a 17-year-old, who committed suicide in April 2016. She wrote, "Sorry for being weak, and not showing courage, but I am tired now, no strength left". She further mentioned that "I am sorry. All the noise in my head and hatred in my heart, hatred for myself, is maddening." When a kid hates herself, you can believe that she has been given reasons.
It is high time we decide whether we would want to put an end to this maddening rat race or just watch silently as bright students continue to decide to end lives, crumbling to the immense pressure they are forced to put up with.