With the Board examinations set to begin in March, Snehi, the NGO that pioneered pre-exam counselling, will open its pre-exam helpline, Disha, from Wednesday.
Students in distress can call phone number 011-65978181 for guidance.
According to Snehi members, the helpline will be manned by a group of trained counsellors and mental health professionals. It will be operational till March 3.
“The professionals will help students in distress through telephonic and face-to-face counselling under the supervision of our senior professionals,” Abdul Mabood, director of the NGO, said, adding, “Snehi has been setting up the helpline since 1999. This is the 14th year of our efforts to help students troubled while preparing for their exams.”
Mabood said that Disha had so far been able to reach out to 19,394 students and 3,159 parents.
“We also helped 230 suicidal cases during these years through the pre-exam helpline. Every year, Snehi receives a few hundreds calls from students, parents, teachers and relatives of students to share their anxiety, confusion and stress. We also receive many calls from students who want specific information related to exams,” he said.
The helpline receives calls from students of Class 10, 11 and 12. Sometimes, students of Class 4 and postgraduate courses also call up to seek help.
During Disha 2011, the helpline received 1,582 calls related to exam stress. A few calls were from suicidal students. “The board exams play a very crucial role in a student’s life, especially in the Indian context. This is why students suffer from a lot of social pressure to perform,” said Fr Bento Rodrigues, chairperson of Snehi.