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Internet, love affairs, no- fail policy blamed for spike in student suicides in MP

More than 1,100 school students committed suicide in Madhya Pradesh in the past six years.

bhopal Updated: Mar 26, 2017 21:25 IST
Ranjan Kumar Srivastava and Shruti Tomar
Ranjan Kumar Srivastava and Shruti Tomar
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
An MP legislative panel cites social media addiction, failed love affairs and no-fail policy up to class 8 as some of the major reasons behind the disturbing trend.
An MP legislative panel cites social media addiction, failed love affairs and no-fail policy up to class 8 as some of the major reasons behind the disturbing trend.(Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

Internet and social media addiction, failed love affairs and government’s no-fail policy up to class 8 are some of the major reasons cited by a Madhya Pradesh legislative panel behind the spike in suicides among students in the state.

Activists and psychologists, however, say rise in number of child sexual abuse, one-sided love affairs and societal pressure to do well in studies are also contributing to the alarming trend.

The committee of legislators in its report tabled in the assembly on Friday came out with a 31-point suggestion for broader section of the society, including parents, students, schools, teachers, policy makers, government and even media.

Criticising the present education system, the committee stressed on values based and ethical education, making learning process more interesting and practical and increase in parental attention among others and called for combating the menace collectively.

More than 1100 school students committed suicide in the state in the past six years, from 2011 onwards.

The report pointed out more students from government schools and rural areas committed suicide as compared to those from private schools and urban background during the period.

The committee was constituted during the last budget session of the assembly following uproar in the house over the rise in number of suicides.

The panel, comprising four ministers and legislators from the BJP, Congress and the BSP, was headed by minister for woman and child development Archna Chitnis.

“No one reason can be attributed for the rise in suicides among students. Our 31-point suggestion is for everybody. If we have to check these incidents, we have to collectively work on all the factors that are driving the youths to take the extreme step,” Chitnis said.

The report categorised the reasons under several heads such as personal, family, educational, social, official/policy related and financial.

Blaming social media addiction, the report said the indiscriminate use of internet and social networking sites are making youths aimless, incapable of thinking about their future.

Coming down heavily on the no-fail policy under the Right to Education Act (RTE), the committee said it is hindering normal growth of students, making them careless and failure phobic.

Parents pressure on children to score high grades, disintegration of joint families, commercialisation of education, lack of sporting facilities in schools and colleges, teachers’ failure to pay proper attention to students are some other causes highlighted by the panel for the growth in suicidal tendency.

Child right activist Prashant Dubey, however, said child abuse and sexual harassment were the major factors behind the rise in suicides among students.

“In the past five months alone more than 12 girls committed suicide due to sexual harassment as per media reports,” he pointed out.

Psychologist Dr Preeti Mathur added peer, parents and societal pressures are the other major causes behind the trend.

“I don’t feel love affair is a reason behind suicides. It’s this log-kiya-kahenge syndrome, which is actually driving the students to end their life,” Mathur said.

Talking to the Hindustan Times chairman IES group of institutes BS Yadav said it is the obligation of the parents, educational institutions, government and society at large to provide a good and health atmosphere to students.

First Published: Mar 26, 2017 18:20 IST

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