Abhijit Anand Bansode, the 15-year-old who allegedly committed suicide after his SSC results were declared on Monday, is remembered by neighbours as a soft-spoken boy, who had seemed ‘okay’ to his friends when they met him around 7 pm. Abhijit, a student of S K Pantwalawalkar School, Kurla, had secured 44.8 per cent.
“In the evening, Abhijit asked his mother to prepare his favourite dish — ‘zunka-bhakar’. His mother bought ingredients from the market and prepared the dish,” said Ruksana Syed, a neighbour. She later found her son hanging from a pole in the house. Abhijit’s father, an electrician, was not at home at the time.
“He left without eating,” said Ruksana. Abhijit’s friend Shubham Koli said, “Abhijit wanted to become an engineer but after the results, some people told him he could not get a seat in the science stream. He wasn’t too happy.”
According to Shubham, Abhijit usually kept to himself but was good at repairing ‘almost anything’.
His class teacher Anil Pimparkar said Abhijit was regular to school. He was good at sports but not “too bright”.
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He had been put in Section D, meant for students with poor scores.
According to the suicide prevention helpline Aasra, about 70 per cent of the calls they receive between February and June — the exam and result seasons— every year are from students. They mostly complain of examination stress, anxiety about results and insecurity about cracking entrance exams.
iCall, a telephone and email-based counselling service provided by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, has received around 250 calls since Monday from anxious students and parents, said Paras Sharma, the programme coordinator.
Many students are driven to suicide owing to pressure from family and teachers, said psychologist Dayal Mirchandani. He has already counselled a few students who approached him complaining of anxiety and restlessness. “The expectations of families and teachers are high. Sometimes, students feels they have let them down,” said Mirchandani. iCall’s Sharma, too, agreed. “Parents and students are also worried right now if their children will meet the cut-off scores for admission to desired courses.”
Abhijit’s family, however, denied putting any pressure on him. “Abhijit’s parents don’t know much about cut-offs and admissions. They didn’t put any pressure on him,” said Surendra Kamble, Abhijit’s uncle.