Suicide by Dalit students
Suicide amongst the Indian youth is increasing at an alarming rate. Pressure related to education, competitive exams and sky rocketing percentages are pushing many over the edge. Added to this is the shameful aspect of caste based discrimination of Dalit students at educational institutions. Not only has this kind of discrimination deterred many from the reserved class from attending college, but has also triggered a slew of suicides which is a blow to the modernisation that we as a nation are so proud of.
Over the past 4 years a staggering 18 students belonging to lower castes have been lost to suicide. The reason behind this appalling fact is that Dalit students committed suicide due to the torturous situations that they had to face at the hands of both teachers and fellow students. More alarming is the fact that these monstrous incidents took place at India’s pioneering educational facilities including Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
- Manish Kumar of IIT Roorke committed by suicide jumping off the fifth floor of a building. He was allegedly constantly taunted at his college for belonging to the lower caste. In fact, when a depressed Kumar complained to the authorities regarding the matter, all his pleas went unnoticed. Depression gripped him and it forced him to commit suicide.
- Bal Mukund, a low caste student in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) committed suicide in March 2010, because his teachers constantly snubbed him because of his caste affiliation. In fact, they went to the extent of saying that it was his quota status and not his merit that enabled him to get admission in the elite medical college. These repeated insults pushed the poor student to the brink of suicide and unable to bear any further; he ended his life.
In all the above cases, Dalit and other lower caste students were made the object of ridicule and shame by their mentors and peers. This is indicative of the gross ignorance that is rampant in even the most premier institutes of our country.
Depression is the leading cause of suicides amongst students in our country. And it is propelled by caste and religion based discrimination, as has been made evident by the number of Dalit students who have lost their lives to it. It is high time we realise as a nation that in the 21st century, divides on the basis of caste has a telling effect on our progress and development. Not to forget that these students are the future of our nation; it is something that requires immediate attention.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Feb 24, 2012
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