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Student Suicide

Students are those who study for better future, students are those who acquire knowledge and then make use of it for the purpose of society welfare in various field. Students can be of various ages, background, religion and even a person acquiring knowledge. India is a country with a huge amount of potential coming as the youth and students who are overtaking even adults at work places and growing in every aspect as possible.

This youth is a large number of students from various parts of the country, and are overachieving there limits as teenagers or a college student, but in this large crowd of students there are many who are suffering from depression, anxiety, and trauma as they are facing kinds of problems in there carrier. With circumstances like this they are taking harsh decisions and considering ending their life by committing suicide.

But why do they commit suicide? The answer for this can only come from the household as well as from the educational institutes of India. In India children are going through a mental torture to study hard for their financially stable future, and when they are unable to accomplish the respected goal they lost track and can't deal with failure which lead them to such suicidal cases.

Student suicide is a very highly important and concerned topic around the country. In the past years there have been a lot of high profiled cases of such which are indicating toward this big issue. According to the reports from the NCRB (National crime record bureau) every hour a student suicide and 28 cases of student suicide are reported every day. The data given by NCRB states that 10,159 students died by suicide in 2018 with an increase of 9,905 in 2017 and 9,478 in 2016. In India, Maharashtra had the most number of student suicide cases followed by Tamil Nadu and then Madhya Pradesh as per the reports by the NCRB in 2018.

It is estimated that more than 15 students out of 100 are affected by suicides. This article discusses about the factors affection or triggering a student to take such decision, further more suicide prevention, steps taken by the government and the stakeholders, how can we prevent students from taking this steps.

Research problems
India is the world's second most populous country of over 1 billion and has one of the highest suicide rates among the aged of 15 to 29 and third over women suicide in the world each year. The reason for such is common, academic stress is the most known reason for both male and female students in India.

The pressure is much beyond colleges. The stories of successful students achieving great results and excellent job offers that makes big news plays significant role in the triggering of parents mind to ask their children to do the same. According to many survey conducted by many prestigious institutes, their data is indicating towards a quick wake up call for students and parents all over the country. This paper will discuss about rising number of student suicide in the country and will discuss the ways how we can put a stop on this.

According to a report a number of 45 student suicide cases were recorded in Kota in 2014 alone for career related issues. Nowadays student suicide has become common and underrated news and is not even considered as problem. The stats found are not even near today's dates.

This topic starts from the societal point of view where a high school student is compared to a successful student in terms of study, abilities, limits and knowledge. Parents then desire the same from their children the same without knowing the fact that if their child is interested in that particular field or not. They demand their child to go for engineering or medical education because they are the only source of financially stabled future. If a student don't opts for these they are said to be useless and their future is over, which acts as a pressure point for students to go for this to live up to the expectations of their parents.

After entering the field when they realize that the syllabus of the course is not that they can handle they are forced to work hard study up to 16 hours day putting all their effort in it, then sitting in exams on Sunday. Those who fail to follow the demanding study schedules feel responsible for disappointing their parents and falling behind their peers. Many students who eventually pass the entrance exams feel even more pressure to excel at university, often taking their own lives when it all becomes too much.

To prevent Student suicides it can be easily averted, but merely setting up training and sensitization sessions for teachers, increasing the role of counseling services and setting up expert committees to review suicide cases in schools and colleges won't do the trick. To prevent this from happening again mental health issues should be told from the start of the higher education and parents should understand the needs and likings of their children and encourage them in moving forward in the way they want.

It is said that caste discrimination is also in the roots of student suicide. Students of higher caste abuse and engage in fights with lower caste people and insult them. It is not uncommon hearing this from lower class students the lack of institutional support. Student suicide should not be sidelined over political issues nor should be mixed with politics. One such case was a of Rohith Vemula, a PhD student at the university of Hyderabad, it started a political wave.

His suicide acted as political agenda on lower caste dalit getting discrimination. But even his death couldn't bring the problem to the fore: More than his caste, the issue of student suicides as a whole should have been addressed by politicians, which unfortunately didn't happen.

Existing legal situation
Section 309 of the Indian penal court criminalizes suicidal attempted and suicidal assistances. It states that whoever commits and does any act towards the commission of such offences shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extent to one year or with fine or with both. This law was brought in by the British in the 19th century showing the thinking of the time, when killing or attempting to kill oneself was considered a crime against the state and the religion. This law is still in effect although is the mental healthcare act 2017 has restricted its application.

The mental healthcare act[1](MHCA) stats that Notwithstanding anything contained in section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code. There have been problems related to section 309 of the IPC in the past years, it was said that the section was repealed which is not true.

This section of the IPC still exist, what actually happened was the mental healthcare act that came into force in July 2018 has dramatically reduced the use of section 309 of IPC and made it as an exception. The section 115(2) says the appropriate Government shall have a duty to provide care, treatment and rehabilitation to a person, having severe stress and who attempted to commit suicide, to reduce the risk of recurrence of attempt to commit suicide.

It is to be noted that the abetting of the commission of suicide is covered under Section 306 IPC and the abetment of suicide of a child is covered under Section 305 IPC. The punishment for these varies from 1-10 years of imprisonment and heavy fines.

Literature review
Lathabhavan, R., & Griffiths, M. First case of student suicide in India due to the COVID-19 education crisis: A brief report and preventive measures. Asian journal of psychiatry, October 2020.

This article discusses about a student suicide case during the lockdown in the country due to the Covid 19 pandemic all over the world. A 15 year old girl of grade 10 committed suicide due to lack of Smartphone and non functional television for her online studies. Her father is a day labor who has not earned anything from 2 months due to the lockdown and was in poor financial statues, which led the girl to think that she will get behind in studies and was unable to overcome her fears which lead to stress and depression and committed suicide. The article also discuses about some ways to help people who are financially weak in this pandemic for study purpose.

Kar, S. K., Rai, S., Sharma, N., & Singh, A. Student Suicide Linked to NEET Examination in India: A Media Report Analysis Study. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, December 2020

This article discusses a suicide of students who were linked to the NEET exam. The NEET exam is an medical entrance exam take all over India which is conducted by national test agency (NTA).it talked about the problems faced by the students during the covid 19 pandemic .the multiple changing date of examination gave a hard time for students which affected their preparations and mental condition, therefore giving rise to stress, anxiety, and depression which caused many students problems.

It even consist of a proper survey and table which clearly stats the suicide ratio and dates and time of death of the students, further more it also discussed about how society plays a big factor in triggering a student to go in stress. Success stories of those who have achieved good score and better placement have been giving hard time to the other student's .it has also discussed about some prevention methods.

Ponnudurai R. Suicide in India:
Changing trends and challenges ahead. Indian journal of psychiatry, October 2015, pp 348-354
This is a very fine article which discusses the topic suicide in India .it consist of all the information regarding the suicide factors, age groups, risks involved, prevention methods and strategies, changing trends in suicide methods, factors influencing suicide in India ,and suicide in armed forces ,students and farmers. The article consists of graphs and tables indicating the rise in the suicide ratio and age group difference. In the conclusion this articles ends with some fine notes and line form the authors and some other people describing suicide as a tragic culmination of interaction of widely array of factors including biological and environmental.

Vijaykumar L. (2007). Suicide and its prevention:
The urgent need in India. Indian journal of psychiatry, April 2007, pp 81�84.
This article discusses about what is suicide, what is the mental condition of a person who is going through depression and stress. It also discuss about depression, anxiety, and stress. It talks about what the social changes are needed to reduce the suicide rate in the country. Further it discusses about the prevention methods needed to decrease and stop the suicides in India. It has done a complete coverage on the prevention that what all helps does the NGOS and WHO are providing for this tragic problem.

Kharsati, N., & Bhola, P. Patterns of non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors among college students in India. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 61(1), 39�49.

In this article Non-suicidal self-injurious behavior (NSSI) was discusses which is also a rising factor these days in the colleges and universities. The authors identified this researched on it. They stated it rarely reaches the mental health and medical services attention. a survey was conducted on 470 on undergraduate and postgraduate students .the result indicates 31.2% of them reported NSSI.

Research questions and hypothesis
Research question
This paper has two research questions which are as follows:
  1. What are the reasons for student suicide in India?
  2. What are the ways to prevent a student from committing suicide?

Both the research questions will be discusses and answered in chapter 2 and chapter 3 respectively.

Student's suicide is a very important topic of concern. The increasing ratio of students committing suicide in the resent years has increased. Continious educational stress and family pressure to excel in the studies has led a student's mental health into depression. The society is also playing a very evil role in affecting the students mental condition by comparing them to each other, tagging them as waste of time and money if they don't go up for a engineering or medical degrees, these have been one of the most common factors that are affecting the students mental condition.

The prevention for these is simple but it should be taught to every person who teaches and knows the student. Methods like counseling won't last any effect on the individual because at the end it is up to that person that is what he desires in his life.

After reading and understanding this paper you will be able to understand the problems faced by the students in their educational life, the mental trauma they are having upon them. The only way to stop this is to let the people understand that every student is not the same, every student has his or her weakness and power there may be educationally gifted people with poor financial status or educationally weak students with great financial support. They all are not the same we should let them do whatever they desire. As a parents point of view it will be difficult but believing in their children can do the trick. After reading this paper I expect people to understand a student's point of view and cooperate with them in their good and bad times.

Scope and objectives
The scope of this paper is to discuss and highlight the topic of student suicide in India. Student suicide has become underrated news and it is a peak time to wake up and do something on it. This paper will discuss about the nature and pattern of suicide of students in india.later it will discuss on the factors that affect a student which leads them to commit suicide, further more the most important thing is the prevention of this problem, it will discuss about the preventions and the measures taken by the government and the stakeholder to prevent it from happening.

It will also discuss about the current legal situation of country and law which prevent from suicide. Further the paper will discuss about the factors affecting students mind like stress, anxiety and depression. And finally it will talk about how a law is cancelling another law which is a problem in for the topic of discussion.

The paper aims to fulfill the following objectives:
  1. To study the nature and pattern of the suicide among the students of India
  2. To identify the factors for student suicide in India.
  3. To analyze the suicide prevention measures taken by various stakeholders
  4. To examine the role of the government towards the prevention of the student suicide.

The methodology adopted for this research is purely based on doctrinal research method. The data has been collected from various primary and secondary sources comprising of various laws, articles and other sources .it is purely an interpretive and analytical study.

The entire paper has been divided into three chapters for convenience:
  • The first chapter deals with the introduction of the topic, the research problems and the existing legal scenario of the topic
  • The second chapter will be based on the first research question that is discussing about the reasons for a student to commit suicide.
  • The third chapter is based on the second question that is what are the way to prevent a student to commit suicide and finally the conclusion.

What are the reasons for student to commit suicide in India?
The reason a student to commit suicide in India is not just mental disorder or depression, it exceed far beyond that. The societal point of view destroys a person's thinking ability, which leads in the parents pressuring their children to work harder and achieve the same goal that someone else has already achieved. In India the society acts as a pathway of foul information and limited thinking resources which is the biggest problem that can't be solved.

The reason for student to commit suicide is not always stress and depression coming from the society but sometimes it also comes from the financial status of their family. There have been also some cases of gender and caste discrimination which lead to students commit suicide as they cannot sustain the constant harassment.

What are the ways we can prevent students from committing suicide?
India grapples with infectious diseases, malnutrition, infant and maternal mortality and other major health problems and hence, suicide is accorded low priority in the competition for meager resources. Currently there is only counseling and stress releasing activities which may help a person who is considering committing suicide. There have been some NGOs who have come forward to support the individual wanting to commit suicide by being friendly and helping in any way possible.

NGOs have undertaken many education of gatekeepers, raising awareness in the public. If you encounter a person who is suffering and willing to commit suicide firstly take to them, listen to their problem, let them understand that you are there and can help them in the process, by these there are high chances of stopping the person from committing suicide. The Indian government and state government both have released helpline number for students who are not feeling mentally well and are coming across these circumstances.

Suicide is a very harmful and dangerous problem for countries like India. Mental illness is a risk factor for suicide, in India, as it is in developed countries. After researching on suicide it can be said that reaching to those who suffering from mental illness like depression and stress and anxiety is very hard, they should be reached very carefully and we should understand there problem. A key step in such an approach involves modifying attitudes toward suicide via educational efforts and legal levers (e.g. decriminalizing suicide).

Primary sources:
  • Section 309 of IPC
  • Mental healthcare act 2017
  • NCRB data
Secondary sources:
  • Lathabhavan, R., & Griffiths, M. First case of student suicide in India due to the COVID-19 education crisis: A brief report and preventive measures. Asian journal of psychiatry, October 2020
  • Kar, S. K., Rai, S., Sharma, N., & Singh, A. Student Suicide Linked to NEET Examination in India: A Media Report Analysis Study. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, December 2020
  • Ponnudurai R. Suicide in India - changing trends and challenges ahead. Indian journal of psychiatry, October 2015, pp 348-354
  • Vijaykumar L. (2007). Suicide and its prevention: The urgent need in India. Indian journal of psychiatry, April 2007, pp 81�84.
  • Kharsati, N., & Bhola, P. Patterns of non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors among college students in India. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 61(1), 39�49.
  • Vijayakumar L., Indian research on suicide. Indian journal of psychiatry, 52(Suppl 1), January 2010
  • Ponnudurai R. Suicide in India - changing trends and challenges ahead. Indian journal of psychiatry, October 2015, 57(4), 348�354.
  • Armstrong, G., Vijayakumar, L., Pirkis, J., Jayaseelan, M., Cherian, A., Soerensen, J. B., Arya, V., & Niederkrotenthaler, T., Mass media representation of suicide in a high suicide state in India: an epidemiological comparison with suicide deaths in the population. BMJ open, 2019, 9(7),
  • Bhatia, S. C., Khan, M. H., Mediratta, R. P., & Sharma, A., High Risk Suicide Factors Across Cultures. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, September 1987, 33(3), 226�236.
    Aggarwal S., Suicide in India. British medical bulletin, January 201
  1. Section 115(1)

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