Kota suicides: District collector to have weekly dinner with coaching students - Hindustan Times
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Kota suicides: District collector to have weekly dinner with coaching students

Jan 28, 2024 04:28 PM IST

The owner of the hostel, where a student died by suicide on Thursday, was asked reasons for not installing an anti-suicide device on the fan in the victim’s room

The Kota district administration in Rajasthan has launched a new initiative ‘Kamyab Kota’ where the district collector will have a weekly dinner with the coaching students in the city at their hostel and discuss their issues, as part of its effort to tackle the student suicide cases, said officials familiar with the matter.

District collector Ravindra Goswami meeting coaching students at a hostel in Kota.
District collector Ravindra Goswami meeting coaching students at a hostel in Kota.

District collector Ravindra Goswami said, “Our primary target through this programme will be to meet the students and communicate with them. Such a dinner will help us to get the students to speak their heart out, creating a light environment.”

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The district administration will plan further action plan after studying the feedback, he added.

The development came days after a 19-year-old student preparing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission in undergraduate medical courses, allegedly died by suicide in Kota on Tuesday, the first such incident in the coaching hub in 2024.

Last year, 27 students, preparing for various competitive examinations, died by suicide in the district, said police.

Providing details about Tuesday’s incident, Kota deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Bhawani Singh said, “A notice has already been issued to the hostel authority of the deceased student asking for suitable reasons for not installing the anti-suicide device in the fans which is a violation of the guidelines of the Rajasthan government. They were given three days following which we will take necessary action against them.”

Amid a surge in suicides among students last year, the district administration on August 18 last year had ordered all hostels and paying guest (PG) accommodations to install spring-loaded fans in rooms.

Kota is the centre of India’s test-preparation business, estimated to be worth 10,000 crore annually, according to officials in the district administration. Students from around the country arrive here in huge numbers after completing Class X and register in residential test-prep institutes. They also enroll in schools, most of which are largely for purposes of certification.

Students attend classes only in the test-prep institutes, which prepare them for their Class XII examination, but more importantly, entrance examinations such as NEET and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE). Some students find the grind stressful, especially because they are away from their families.

According to police data, 15 students died by suicide in Kota in 2022, 18 in 2019, 20 in 2018, seven in 2017, 17 in 2016, and 18 in 2015. No suicides were reported in 2020 and 2021 as coaching institutes were shut or ran on online mode due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On September 28, the Rajasthan government announced a series of measures to prevent suicides among students, such as a mandatory screening test, the alphabetical sorting of students into sections instead of a ranking-based one.

The guidelines also recommended mandatory training for teachers, institute managers, other staff, and the wardens of the hostels and paying guest accommodations to enable them to assess behavioural changes of students and take further preventive measures.

The government warned of legal action against faculty of coaching institutes if they violated any of the regulations.

On January 16, the Union education ministry released specific instructions for the functioning of coaching centres and restricted enrollment above the age of 16. It warned of a penalty of 1,00,000 for institutes in case of any violation of the terms and conditions.

If you need support or know someone who does, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist.

Helplines: Aasra: 022 2754 6669;

Sneha India Foundation: +914424640050 and Sanjivini: 011-24311918,

Roshni Foundation (Secundrabad) Contact Nos: 040-66202001, 040-66202000,

ONE LIFE: Contact No: 78930 78930, SEVA: Contact No: 09441778290

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