Kota cause, just pause


Kota care seem to have turned into Kota crisis. The IIT/medicine coaching hub’s sheen seems to be wearing off with the increasing number of suicides. This year the number of suicides stands at 5 till now. Last year the count was 19.
But the flow of starry eyed students into this dusty, congested, coaching hub continues unabated. At least 1.5 lakh students arrive in Kota every year to fulfil their dreams or rather their parents.
As a note of precaution , Kota Collector Ravi Kumar Surpur has written a five page emotional letter to be despatched to parents of each of the students, asking them to look beyond engineering and medicine and look for other career options.

In his advice to the parents, Surpur has written: “Good career in the field of engineering and medicine as the case may be, is more or less like certain insurance in terms of decent earning and living standards. However, art, entertainment, professional sports, literature, health and fitness, entrepreneurship, journalism, photography, event management , music, adventure etc have witnessed immense growth in comparison to the bygone era. The point is not about asking you to see them as better options but certainly to see them also as options.”
Surpur thought of writing the letter after going through many suicide notes of young, brilliant students who considered that death would be more peaceful than the stress they have to constantly endure.
He has written in the letter : “I consider myself a very unfortunate person because I got a chance to read around 20-25 Suicide Notes of Young, Brilliant, Beautiful and Wonderful Children.
Am I giving so many adjectives to such children because they committed Suicide?
I am sorry…. Answer is No… They were in fact, as I said earlier, Young, Brilliant, Beautiful and Wonderful Children.
A Girl with an amazing command of English language in her suicide note (grammatically perfect 5-page Suicide Note with beautiful running handwriting) thanks her mother for giving up her career for raising the children…. Subtle hint that she was pricked on this matter again and again…. Another girl wants her grandmother to become her mother in her next birth…. Another requests her parents to allow her younger sister to do what she likes and not what they like…. One tells candidly that he was manipulated to study science which was not his taste…. Many simply write in fewer lines that they could not fulfil the expectations of their parents…. Rather few say they were not really capable of doing what is being asked for by them…. All of them thought that Death was a much peaceful and effortless action than going through this dilemma of artificially doing what parents want them to do….”

The Kota district administration has also decided to hold a first-of-its-kind mammoth exercise in the form of a survey on 1.5 lakh students enrolled in coaching institutes.The move is intended to study the mindset and thought process of students enrolled in these institutes. It is primarily to analyse whether students are studying willingly with no pressure or unwillingly.The survey forms would be given to the students during the admission time and would be kept confidential.

The proposal came from the district collector after a recent review meeting held with representatives from coaching institutes, hostel and mess owners and transporters along with IG of Kota.The district administration is framing a questionnaire for the survey.

The questions may include aspects like economic status of the family, profession of family members, interests of students in engineering, physical or mental abuse, if any, by parents, know how of alternate career options, what they miss in Kota and the like. Some objective-type questions will also be listed to find out health hazards and change in behavioural pattern.

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