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‘Suicide city’ Kota’s new preventive tactic is ceiling fans with springs, sirens

Rajasthan’s Kota city -- known as the capital of competitive exam coaching in the country -- has been grappling with rising cases of suicides by stressed-out students. Most of the suicides in the past in Kota were committed by coaching students by hanging themselves from ceiling fans of their hostel rooms.

india Updated: Mar 30, 2017 20:33 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times, Kota (Rajasthan)
Kota,Student Suicides,Competitive Exams
Students at a coaching institute in Kota city which has been grappling with rising cases of suicides by stressed-out students.(Mint File Photo)

In a bid to check student suicides in Rajasthan’s Kota -- known as the capital of competitive exam coaching in the country, a hostel association in the city is considering installing springs in ceiling fans or replacing them with wall fans in hostel rooms.

The spring-fitted ceiling fans would not just come down if a student tries to hang himself or herself from the fans but would also sound a hooter to intimate hostel authorities of the suicide attempt.

Student suicides have remained a major issue in Kota and a majority of the victims have ended their lives by hanging themselves from the ceiling fan in their rooms. Now the Kota Hostel Association (KHA), an association of some 700 hostels in Kota, has found a way to prevent students from committing suicides.

Naveen Mittal, president of the KHA said that their association was working on the issue of checking student suicides for the past several months and recently they have seen a ceiling fan developed by a Gujarat based private firm. The spring is fitted in the fan in such a way that if a weight of over 20 kg is hung on it, the fan will come down.

“Since the person can still commit suicide from the hook of the ceiling fan even after the collapse of the ceiling fan, we are working on fitting a sensor into the fan which would be connected to a hooter and would sound as soon as the ceiling fan collapses”, said the association president.

He added that the ceiling fans would only be installed once the siren sensor is attached to it. “It would take another 3 months before such ceiling fan with sensor is developed”, he said.

Apart from such spring attached ceiling fans, KHA is also working on the option of replacing the conventional ceiling fans with the wall fans. As around 80% hostels of the associations have air conditioners, the replacement isn’t likely to cause any discomfort to the students.

Furthermore, the hostels are installing biometric attendance machines which would be useful at night. “Biometric machines would be used by hostel warden to track every hostel student personally at the time of dinner. That way the hostel warden will also interact with the student and ascertain whether the student is in depression or not,” said Mittal.

The biometric machines have already been installed at 905 hostels in Kota and others are likely to get it within the next few months.

A firm from Gujarat has been given an order for the supply of the spring equipment and sensor and the work to attach the equipment and sensor is underway in some of the hostels. The process is expected to be over in two to three months, said Manish Jain, founder president of the association.

Besides, CCTV cameras would be installed at the entrance and exit roads, points and gates in areas where the coaching institutes and hostels are located, Jain said.

The National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) in its 2014 report said at least 45 students committed suicide in Kota due to fear of failure in exams. Last year, 17 students committed suicide in Kota.

The state government as well as the district administration has taken several measures and issued guidelines to check such incidents.

Around 1.75 lakhs students from across the country have come to Kota in recent years for coaching for entrance tests in IIT/JEE and NEET.

(With inputs from PTI)

First Published: Mar 30, 2017 17:33 IST