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Music to help curb suicides

mumbai Updated: Feb 18, 2010 01:33 IST
Aarefa Johari
Aarefa Johari
Hindustan Times
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As part of its campaign to curb student suicides, an online ‘anti-suicide’ community has turned to the healing power of music.

On Wednesday, the ‘I Pledge to Stop Student Suicides’ (IPTSSS) movement which started on Facebook last month, launched Follow Your Dreams, a music album featuring nine songs in Hindi and English.

Popular bands and artistes including Euphoria, Indian Ocean and Shankar Mahadevan have allowed the campaign organisers to use their songs in the album for free.

“Music was the greatest healer for me during my stressful days in a medical college hostel. Today other students tell me the same,” said Euphoria’s lead singer Palash Sen.

Sen hopes that the music will bring hope to students who feel pressured by the education system. “But the real education must begin with parents and teachers, who pressurise children.”

The IPTSSS web page, launched last month, has more than 3,000 members, and offers a platform for students, parents, teachers, counsellors and non-profit organisations to help each other and initiate discussions on the issue.

“Music was the obvious choice to take forward the campaign,” said Alok Parande (22), one of the founders of the movement, who was in a rock band himself.

Though the album can be downloaded for free from www.iken.in, education company Mexus Education, which is sponsoring the campaign, will also distribute it among parents, teachers and students in 1,200 schools it caters to across India.

“India has one of the highest rates of adolescent suicides, because of the emphasis on getting into the rat race,” said Saurabh Saxena, director of Mexus, which provides schools with innovative teaching material in the form of comic books, games and toys.