The Kota Hostel Association has decided to install sensors and springs in ceiling fans in hostel rooms, to check the rising number of suicides in the city. These will ensure that if students try to hang themselves, the fans drop to the floor. Sakshi Tomar stays in Keshavam Residency, a hostel that is not getting the the system installed
1. Have you heard of the Kota Hostel Association’s plans?
Yes, but I am not sure if such a plan will help reduce the suicides. We can only stop this by making students strong mentally. I have been in Kota for two years aur yahan bahut hyper environment hota hai (and the environment here is quite charged). If you don’t score well in any test, your friends taunt you, and that leads to embarrassment and stress. A student should be able to deal with such things.
2. Why do you think this plan won’t help?
The most important thing is to have a good environment in hostels, because that is where students spend most of their time. Whenever I am low, I try talking to some of my friends here. The pressures can’t be denied, and I feel the association should focus on providing a family-like environment at the hostel, instead of tweaking fans, to help students cope.
3. What are the pressures that you face in Kota?
Financial pressures, performance pressures… My father is a sugarcane farmer in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, and I am the third of four siblings. I am taking coaching at Aakash Institute, and it comes at a price. In fact, most students here are from middle-class families and the coaching costs are a big burden. Though my parents don’t tell me anything, main hamesha koshish karti hoon ki mere marks achche aayen (I am always trying that I get good marks). I think in most cases, students end their lives because of pressure from parents.
4. Has anyone you know ever thought of killing themselves?
No, but in my two years here I have often heard of such deaths. I wouldn’t say that they disturb me… Once in a while we all get depressed, I get stressed too, but taking your life is not the solution. Life mein struggle karna hota hai, kuch bhi aasani se nahin milta (One needs to struggle in life, success doesn’t come easy).
5. Why did you come to Kota?
I always dreamed of becoming a doctor, and I read about Kota in a newspaper. The atmosphere here is quite competitive and I thought that would help me in my preparation. My studies are going well, I have been working hard, and I hope to crack the exams this time.