In light of the attempted suicide by a first year Engineering student of IIT-Delhi, the Director of the institute has written an email to all students. In it, he says that the incident should “shake all our conscience from slumber” and that there was a need to “collectively address the problem” and “build a support system” for students. Talking to The Sunday Express, Director V Ramgopal Rao said the institute is taking many measures to deal with the issue, including activating the Hindi Cell to help students from the Hindi-speaking belt.
“The student is now stable and the institute is closely monitoring the situation. However, this incident should shake all our conscience from slumber… We are putting in place mechanisms to proactively reach out to students based on their performance in academics and attendance. For example, parents of this particular student were called to IIT-D just a few months ago and were apprised of the issues their child was facing. The Timble attendance system is also a step in this direction. But this is not sufficient,” he wrote in his mail.
“We need to collectively address the problem and build a support system… When you see someone in depression, or see something wrong in what one is doing, please do let the administration know,” he wrote. Rao said Timble was an app started by faculty members. “It’s a mobile phone-based attendance system. So when students enter the class, their mobile phones are registered. It shows their face at the start of the class, and also at the end. So it won’t work if students are not within a certain circle,” he said.
“We’re also making counselling compulsory for certain students who are not doing well, and making peer groups through which students can help each other,” he said.