Special women squads for girl students in Kota to curb suicide rates - Hindustan Times
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Special women squads for girl students in Kota to curb suicide rates

Feb 08, 2024 04:40 PM IST

The decision came following two recent incidents in which students died by suicide in Kota this year – one of whom was also an 18-year-old girl who had been preparing for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)

Jaipur: In a bid to curb the suicide rates, particularly among girl students in Kota’s coaching hub, the district administration has set up five special women squads headed by an administrative officer in each, said an official familiar with the matter.

Half of student population in coaching centres across Kota are girls (File Photo)
Half of student population in coaching centres across Kota are girls (File Photo)

“Each squad will comprise a RAS [Rajasthan Administrative Service] officer, an SI [sub-inspector], and a doctor, who will interact with the girls at their coaching centres regularly and will submit a detailed report to the district collector every 15 days,” said Sunita Daga, the registrar of the Kota Agricultural University who is supervising the squads.

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The girls, particularly the teenagers, deal with several issues while studying away from their home which they cannot share with everyone leading to several complications; even suicide, said Daga. “Such a measure aims to take care of the mental health and other issues faced by the girls in Kota,” she added. ,

Also Read: Killing them with coaching classes

The decision came following two recent incidents in which students died by suicide in Kota this year – one of whom was also an 18-year-old girl who had been preparing for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE).

Earlier, a 19-year-old student from Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad preparing for the all-India pre-medical entrance test was found dead in his hotel room in the city on January 23.

According to the district administration’s estimation, half of the student population in the coaching centres across Kota are girls. A total of five girls were also among 27 students preparing for various competitive examinations, died by suicide in the district, according to the officials.

Daga said that the squads were made initially at the four most populated coaching areas– Jawahar Nagar, Vigyan Nagar, Kunhadi, and Borkheda. “However, the number of squads can be increased in the later days considering their effectiveness,” she said.

The officer added that their interaction with the students will be kept confidential.

Also Read: Kota-based man, 27, enrolled in online course from Chennai dies by suicide: Cops

“There are many such issues which are extremely sensitive for the girls. They do not like to open up about them publicly. We want to provide them with an environment where they will be able to talk and also expect a possible solution on the matter. We will also refer them to medical professionals if required. They will also be given an official contact number of the squads where they can write about their issues,” Daga said.

Kota is the centre of India’s test-prep 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 to prepare for entrance examinations such as NEET and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE).

Last year, 27 students, preparing for various competitive examinations, died by suicide in the district. 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 in online mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, on June 28 last year, the district police in Kota launched a special 11-member student cell under the supervision of the assistant police superintendent Chandrasheel Thakur interact with the students daily across the hostels and coaching centres, identify the vulnerable, take necessary action in those cases, and also submit a regular report to the collector and the superintendent of police.

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 (Secunderabad) Contact Nos: 040-66202001, 040-66202000, ONE LIFE: Contact No: 78930 78930, SEVA: Contact No: 09441778290

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