Tuesday, September26,2023

Rising Suicides in Kota City: A Cry for Help from India's Coaching Hub

In the heart of Rajasthan lies Kota, India's education hub, where dreams of academic success come to life, but so do the nightmares of despair. Kota, often touted as the nation's largest coaching center, is grappling with a harrowing increase in student suicides, raising pressing questions about the pressures young minds endure in pursuit of excellence.


In a tragic testament to the city's mounting crisis, a student, in her final moments, penned a heartfelt plea to the Government of India and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. I want to tell the Government of India and the Ministry of Human Resource Development that if they want the youth to be happy, they should ban the coaching centers, she implored, echoing the sentiments of many.


The promise of Kota draws thousands of young aspirants every year, driven by visions of becoming engineers or doctors. But this city's relentless competition has a dark side. In the first eight months of 2023 alone, 24 students have taken their own lives, casting a pall of tragedy over Kota's reputation.


The prevailing atmosphere often leaves students feeling isolated, devoid of emotional support. Experts warn that parents, fearing distractions, sometimes discourage friendships among their children. The relentless pursuit of academic excellence turns every moment not spent studying into a perceived waste, exacerbating stress levels.


Dinesh Sharma, the director of the psychology department at Government Nursing College, observes a disturbing lack of empathy and camaraderie among students. The question arises: are these conditions ethical for nurturing young minds?


In an attempt to provide help, counseling services have become available within coaching institutions. However, some students hesitate to open up, fearing that their parents might discover their struggles.


This dire situation prompts us to reflect on critical questions. Should we not educate our children on how to cope with failure? Is it justifiable to enforce a strict do or die principle? Must we prioritize society's perception of our children's success over their happiness and overall well-being?


Kota, once a beacon of hope for countless young minds, now faces a grim reality. It's time for society, parents, and educational institutions to come together to address this crisis and ensure that Kota remains a city of dreams, not nightmares.