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Teenage Student Suicides in India-An Eye Opening Story

November 22, 2011  by: S. Chowdhury  Points: 12   Category: Others  Earning $0.60   Views: 1263

Newspapers are now filled with stories and statistics of teenage suicides in India on a regular basis and many of them are students. The reports remind me of a story I saw on TV long time ago. It leaves me with a lot of unanswered questions that society must answer to stop such sad incidents from happening.


It is not easy to accept the vagaries of life and almost everybody faces problems to accept the reality that can get really tough at times. But the section of the population of a country that is most vulnerable to such problems is the youth of a country. It is a sad reality that among the suicides that happen worldwide an overwhelming large percentage of the contributors are the youth and since everybody is aware of the fact that youth is the future of any country therefore it is doubly worrying.

Nowadays I find rampant reporting of teenage suicides in the Newspapers daily in India and some of the statistics furnished there related to suicides in certain areas of India are really quite shocking. There are many reasons laid forward towards analyzing such damaging trends but it is a well-known fact that a large number of the teenagers who commit suicide are students and their extreme step is a direct fallout of their academic problems. It is not lost with anybody that the figures shown in the papers are mere tip of icebergs and the problem runs much deeper. I don't know how much importance is given to this extremely disturbing subject in India as I hardly see anybody bringing this topic on the table in the electronic or print media but we can afford to look the other way only at our own peril! Some people try to trivialize the matter with the help of statistics and percentages but I guess most of us know for sure how misleading such favourable statistics can be.

One of Many Teenage Student Suicides in India

The frequent news reports and incidents of student suicides in recent times remind me of a story seen on TV during my childhood days which left a lasting impression on a tender mind and somehow I find a reflection of it in many tragic real-life examples.

The storyline goes like this: "Once upon a time a young boy lived in a small hilly village in a somewhat remote part of India. The village was garlanded by the beauties of nature and it was alive in every way. It had a beautiful green hilly stretch, an unleashed streaming river at its youth, lush green fields, cows and sheep grazing idly on them, small huts as well as brick-built houses, fairs, plays, gatherings at evening time, star filled nights going to sleep early, picturesque dawns, people out in wee hours for errands, children lost in their own world among themselves. The setting was probably the perfect back-drop of a romantic tale (akin the hindi flicks) but many-a-times the cruelties of life lie in ambush behind alluring happiness! Anyway, moving on: the boy (the protagonist) used to live in a big house with his parents, brothers, sisters and several other kith and kin. There was no dearth of company. It appeared to be one small happy society.

The village was probably like this

The boy's name was probably Ramu (just took a pick). His father was a trader in something I can't remember. He used to study in a school a little away from his house. Some of his siblings and cousins also used to study there. He was not good at studies but probably not being taken care of the way a gasping learner should've been! He failed in the school-leaving exams (probably twice) and appeared again. This time round he was very scared as he was absolutely petrified by his father's warnings of throwing him out of the house if failed.

The day the result of that year's exam was to be out became very much nerve wrecking for Ramu compounded by his father's threats and abuses at will, which were interspersed by the derisions of his cousins in all glee. All of these head-churning- cacophonies led him to flee as soon as his father left for work, stealthily. He roamed aimlessly all day long in the fringes of the town and beyond, while his mind simulated incessantly: lurid scenes of the domestic-tempest waylaying specifically for him with his father as the epicentre in a countless surge of ignominious-whirlpool and worse raising serious doubts over his very existence! It seemed as if ages were going past him without even giving a care for the worthless soul!

(Very) Slowly but surely time rolled on and the sun traversed the whole sky into oblivion, leaving behind a poor creature (as of his state) in a no-man's land of eternal darkness! He wept inconsolably with all his world falling apart at the altar of academic-success amid the ruins of the vanquished: forlorn, forsaken, gutted and almost lifeless, as if the tears had turned to gore siphoning even the frail-spirit out of him. Teetering on the brink of life with numbed-identity he trod heavily towards the sound emanating off the black-rushing-gusty-waves and splashed himself to the flow of eternal fleeing!

As evening passed onto night Ramu's mother got very much worried by his unusual absence and urged his father and the other male members to go in search of him. Though Ramu's father didn't pay much heed to those desperate pleas and ranted out that it would be better if he wouldn't return at all but the other elders were not so heartless and they went out for a search with some neighbours. After searching a few known areas they headed towards the school, as it appeared to be the most likely place, which held the key to the mystery of Ramu's disappearance. On reaching the spot, they enquired the gatekeeper about the boy's whereabouts but he drew a blank. Meanwhile some people from the search group poured over the list displaying the results of the appeared candidates in the school-leaving exams pinned to the notice board in the corridor. They laddered down the names as the closing in cameras did as well and came to a grounding halt over a particular name: it was Ramu's! To the astounding shock of the observers including yours truly---the list flashed the word 'Passed' beside Ramu's name. It took a while for everybody to trust their eyes and then left them wondering: 'why didn't he arrive home with the good news then?' Well, they found out the answer the next day, when his deformed corpse was found stuck between two large rocks in the river by residents of some other village where the body has flown downstream. This is where the poignant story ends."

The story haunted me again and again in search of answers and adequate questions as well. Now when one casts memory in bygone time one is left asking: 'How many hands does it require to shove a weak and cornered poor soul off the ridge?' Slowly but surely the scraping of inches leads to the end of the tether only if somebody would've cared. In a world of cut-throat-competition when competition is nullified by non-performance and one is crucified on a daily basis for that then the battered-soul looks for the most sought-after escape-route. At this very juncture if those hapless individuals were assured of their worth through love and care then many of them for sure will find that extra zip to propel beyond the fence and further. The sense of one's worth in this world and the sense of belonging for one's family and loved ones once evoked can do wonders. If such positive steps are not taken by society at present then I guess there will be more disturbing news to read in the future as well and things will only get worse.


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