The number of suicides being reported across the state this week has been horrific and alarming. What is scary is that really young people undergoing pressure with exams have committed most of them. It is sad that minds that have not yet developed have fallen prey to such levels of depression that has made these kids reach a place of hopelessness towards a life that could have been a glorious one. It's significant that none of these cases come from the underprivileged class, where striving for a good report is a means to an end. They come from families that fall in the middle-class bracket. What's the solution?
Let us, for a minute, examine forms of pressure related to what happened. The educational institutions in our country has a cruel system of admission. Little children are interviewed and rejected as if they are not 'top-of-the-line'. A four-year old then feels serious pressure. Good colleges like St. Xavier's in Mumbai or St. Stephen's in Delhi admit students with cut offs above 95 per cent! However, what choice do these institutions have? They have to screen thousands of applications and so do schools. Not that jobs are awaiting them after their graduation. Most of the graduates are in fact unemployed and still seeking job opportunities.
Next in line are the parents. Even though love is a relative term, I can easily say that all parents love their children and want the best for them. However, parents too get caught up in a cycle of pressure to get their children to perform. Most times it is for the future of the child. Sometimes parents may also want to show off to their friends and relatives about their child; hence being the parent of a 'loser child' is unacceptable.
Coming to the victim, the young mind who cannot get the marks owing to lesser aptitude, distraction or any emotional reason, knows that failure means flak from school, aggression at home and ridicule from their peers. Lucky for the child if he/she understands the importance of academics, but what if he doesn't? What if he is unstable and weak? What if he/she is prone to depression and cannot bear the shame of failure?
My exams are almost done with just two more papers yet to be done. I hear my parents reprimanding and nagging me to study. Coming from an academic background, my parents need to see me put my face in a book rather than seeing my face on Facebook and they are unfortunately helpless in reducing the pressure. As a matter of fact when my parents did let go, my parents were pulled up by the college, after which my parents turned the screws back on.
There are no answers to the questions and the problem is mammoth. Children of today are growing full speed in all directions. Their fingers on the computer screens/mobile phones type faster than any other typist of the past and it is difficult to keep pace with them. We have to make the young believe in themselves, have faith in their ability, love them and give them space to shine. To do enough today, is to try and instill self-confidence, firmly make them understand right and wrong, yet have an ear for them. One must teach them to be God-fearing, hoping that this grounding makes them tread on the right path. The rest as they say, is their luck, fate and is in the hands of God!