Thane: At 15 years old, a boy allegedly decides to end his life by jumping from a building in Vartak Nagar, Thane. The concrete reason remains unknown, but the incident took place a week after the SSC Maharashtra board results were announced in the first week of June.

Thane police have filed a case of “accidental death” and further investigation is in progress. The event occurred on a Thursday night when Residents of the building heard a loud thud and found the boy lying in a pool of blood.

The young man had scored 92% in his Grade 10 board exams so it is difficult to believe that he would take such a drastic step. But in this age of increasing competition and academic pressure, not only from parents but also from the school, the rates of teenage suicides have increased tragically.

According to an NCRB report from 2021, the rates of suicides and accidental deaths in India have seen an increase of 4.5%. At least 35 young students die by suicide every single day.

In March 2023, another teen was found hanging by her parents in a hostel in Kota, Rajasthan. The girl and her family were from Bihar and her parents had come to Rajasthan to visit her. The parents told the police that she was upset over her low scores and the inedible food at the hostel.

4 cases of suicides have been registered in IIT Madras alone this year. 33 deaths have been reported since 2018 in IIT institutes all over India.

It is difficult to not point your finger at the Indian education system which prioritises numbers, marks, and percentages and not learning. Students have protested on the grounds of IIT Madras regarding their carelessness in handling the tragic deaths and taking no further action to prevent it from happening again. 

Parental pressure on the students has increased as the competition grows tougher in the country. As much as we understand that they want the best for their children when their version of “best” comes at the cost of someone’s deteriorating mental health and impending suicide, one must step back to assess where they’re going wrong. 

In the 15-year-old’s case, scoring 92% would mean that he would’ve had to compromise on his social life and passions to devote a huge amount of time to his studies. If it is concluded that the reason for his death was due to him or his family not being satisfied with his results, then it would show how callously he had been treated even though he scored great marks. 

This is not something that will be solved by changing the fans in the hostel rooms. Significant steps must be taken by every single educational institute in the country. Starting from compulsorily having a trained school counsellor on the premises. Talking about therapy and mental health issues openly and not treating them like taboo topics. Organising weekly group therapy sessions. Making professors of every department more aware of mental health issues so they can spot and prevent further damage in a student’s life. Parents need to be more empathetic towards their children and know how to deal with them healthily. 

You can always ask for help, and you’re never alone. Here are some links you can reach out to:

Suicide Helpline Number: 9152987821

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