“Only recently, I read about the suicide of a Dalit student at IIT Bombay. It reminded me of the suicide of an Adivasi student in NLU, Odisha last year. My heart goes out to the family members of those students. But I have also been wondering where our institutions are going wrong that the students are forced to give up their precious lives.” CJI DY Chandrachud said in his speech.
In August 2022, National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) published a 298 pages report on accidental death and suicides and the figures were very disturbing. The report says that 13089 students committed suicide in the year 2021, which is 8% of the total suicide committed in 2021. In another shocking fact, 10,730 suicide were committed by underage children. Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud also shows his concern on that issue while giving a speech on the 19th annual convocation of NALSAR university on February 25th, 2023.
But what was the reason for his concern?
In December 2021, the union education minister, Dharmendra pradhan shared a figure in Lok Sabha which says that from 2014 to 2021, in just 7 years, 122 students commit suicide in various institutions. Which include some prestigious institutions like IIT, IIM and NIT. 34, 4 and 30 students committed suicide at IIT, IIM and NIT respectively in these 7 years. This is the figure from the most prestigious institutions in India.
In August 2022, NCRB published the ADSI (Accidental Death and Suicide in India) -2021 report, according to which all over India 1673 suicide committed was due to failure in examination, 3541 committed because of unemployment and 2593 were due to career problem. These 3 issues are directly or indirectly connected to students of India.
The concern that lies
The concern of CJI is the hope that some action will be taken in this direction. Our Prime Minister says that “the world is looking at India’s youth with hope.” But sadly, we are not even looking at our youth. The figure above is just for students, who are still studying. If we include everyone below 30 years of age, the number will be 67,259. That’s how many of India’s youth take their lives in a single year. It’s just the figure for the year 2021.
All the discussions on mental health happen when a celebrity died due to it. But what about normal people? Neither it is affordable for normal people nor they are aware of it. 13000 students take their lives in a single year, and over 10000 were committed by underage children. They all must be going through some kind of mental illness. But why our younger generation is suffering through all of this? Is something really very very wrong with our institutions? Are our school and colleges putting too much pressure on students? Or it’s our education system that needs to get redesigned?