A few weeks back there was yet another disturbing news of a student committing suicide in Kota. Such news have a frequent appearance now-a-days. We read the news, feel bad about it and with time it fades away from our memory only to be refreshed with another such incident. IIT Aspirant From Uttar Pradesh Commits Suicide In Kota
However, such incidents do jolt us from within, they give rise to a lot of questions such as why does this happen? When is this going to stop? How many more lives until we get a stop to this? Most importantly, why is it so easy for a person to think that taking one’s own life is the ultimate end to all the problems? Undoubtedly, there has to be a serious reason for it.
Though the suicides in Kota keep making headlines in the media, the overall rate of students committing suicides has increased radically through all these years. It is time we reflect upon the above questions and address the issue. The suicide is only an upshot of some major mayhem in our lives.
Some of the underlying causes could be –
Nature of Education: Our education has become more marks and result oriented than before. I remember when I was a student, our focus was more on understanding the subject than scoring marks. Today, the students have to bone up on as every single mark is a decision-maker of their future.
Peer Pressure: There is tremendous pressure on the children from their parents and society. “Look at your brother. He is a topper in the class and you barely pass.” Or “My child scored 90% what about your daughter?” A child may excel in arts but is forced to study engineering because his brother or the neighbour’s son chose to do so.
Parent’s Dream Imposed on Children: Once a father came to me with his son to me for counselling, who was undergoing treatment for depression. He had forced his son to join the Kota classes and enter IIT as it was his unfulfilled dream. Unfortunately, the son could not take the pressure and after spending a year in Kota, came back home, deep into depression. The gruelling sessions there had taken such a toll on the son that he became a rebel and refused to do anything. He just ate and slept throughout day and night and lost the hope to live. When I was counselling him, he told me that he wanted to become an artist and was forced into IIT coaching classes by his dad. This is a sad fact that many times we wish our children to fulfil our dreams not realising the cost it entails.
Inability to Handle Stress: We live in a world which demands productivity and efficiency. Tough competition in every sphere of life is a breeding ground for stress. Students particularly go through exam, career, relationship stress and so on. Most of the times, the stress goes unaddressed and goes to work inside, leading to a havoc and such dire consequences.
Inability to Handle Emotions: We are all emotional beings. In schools and colleges we learn math, science, history, geography but no one teaches us how to deal with our emotions. We don’t know what to do when we are angry, we don’t know what to do when we feel sad, we don’t know how to handle anxiety. Not knowing how to handle emotions leaves us in a state of disorder. The easiest option to get out of the mess one thinks, is suicide.
All of these are the few of the many reasons why Kota in particular has seen so many suicides. It has become a place haunted by hope, despair, and isolation and in the end going nowhere.
As a parent and a teacher it is in our hands how we treat these young minds. We need to deal with them with care.
Here are few solutions to the problem I can offer –
Know your Child: As parents or teachers the well-being of the child should be given top-most priority. We need to see where the child’s interest lies and we should support them to go in that direction. Children should be constantly made aware that their opinion matters and that they are respected and they are supported for all their decisions. This helps them to build confidence and they feel secure. That way the children will be at ease and can perform to their highest potential. This will also prevent them from taking any drastic steps. The life of your child is more precious than anything in this world.
Never Ever Compare: Comparison is the worst thing that you could do to your child. It badly affects the self-esteem of the child and makes him/her believe that he/she is not capable of achieving anything. We need to remember that every person is a unique creation of God with distinctive qualities. No two human beings are similar. This fact itself dissolves any ground for comparison.
Be a Friend to Your Child: The best relationship you can develop with your child is that of friendship. In my practice as a Life Coach I have seen children resorting to drugs and alcohol, falling into wrong company and doing wrong things that the parents are not even aware of. And by the time the parents realise, it is already too late. What children need is unconditional acceptance and love. They need to communicate with someone who can understand them. If the parents are able perform this role of a friend, it can avoid a lot of untoward incidences.
Work on Making the Child Mentally Tough: Constant Communication between the child and the parent and the assurance that the child will be loved and accepted under any situation makes the child mentally tough. The child should be taught that failure is a part of success rather than condemning the child for it.
Most of the times the children take such a drastic step like suicide is when they are unable to handle the pressure or fear of failure and the fear of rejection by family and society post that. If the child is welcomed with open arms even after failure, he/she will never take such an extreme step such as suicide.
Teach Your children to Handle Stress: Many of us believe that meditation or spirituality is a practice for old age. Often misunderstood, these are nothing but a way of life irrespective of the age. If you are able to inculcate this or any mind-calming practices in children since a very young age, the children will be trained to handle stresses in life in a positive way rather than resorting to suicides.
Children are our future and it is each one of our responsibility to make our future bright. So let us be a beacon of hope and inspiration for them. Let us be mindful so that we can prevent such ghastly acts. Every single step that we take is going contribute in shaping up the destiny of the generations to come. Let us commit towards making this world a happy place to live in.