Taking my discussion, on this new challenge in our society, further, I thought it necessary to examine this phenomenon a little further. This development has its roots, amongst others, in the rapid change our society has undergone and how our lives have changed on the last two decades.
This period is most relevant as the children opting for suicide were born during this time.We may have made tremendous strides in making more money or ensuring a mobile phone for one out of every two Indians, expanding economic opportunities or have improved our so-called "standards of living". However, in this race, we seem to achieved whatever at a very high cost. The moot question is whether, we as a society have regressed.
It seems that the stakes have suddenly been upped and it appears that in this life's race, the winner takes it all.
Everybody loves winners and there is a certain glamour attached to these "success stories". Media also does it bit by highlighting crazy placement salaries of a few students from premier engineering and management institutes. All this raises expectations of both students and parents.
Whilst this is not the case in reality, we often fail to recognise that there is no free lunch in life. Each one has to always pay a price and often that is not visible. It is good to aspire and work hard towards one goal and there is absolutely no harm in that. One does not plan to fail but what happens if the student, inspite of best efforts, is unable to get through. It is at this stage emotional balance of both parents and their children is called into play.
That failure in an exam is not a measure of that child's worth should be understood and clearly communicated and demonstrated through thoughts, words and deeds. That failure is not the end of life and instead can be a stepping stone for renewed efforts should be drilled in no uncertain terms.
Most students are not suicidal but it is impossible to predict who could be overwhelmed at any point of time and who would take steps towards the edge.
It is possible for a child to equip itself against the uncertainties of life and attain a semblance of emotional balance if their education process begins early - both at home and in school. This pre-supposes that our teachers have the right approach and training and parents have the maturity to be mentors, friends and of course de-stressed parents.
Is this expecting too much??? Can we achieve this state??? If yes, then what needs to be done??? Is this over simplification of the problem??? Do we understand the compulsions of those for whom good education is a passport to a better life away from their daily drudgery???
There are many unanswered questions. It is important that these are discussed in public domain and there is awareness. It may help someone.