“Just because you think you’re worthless doesn’t make it true”
Every year, 17 May is dedicated to World Hypertension Day (WHD). This is an initiative of the World Hypertension League (WHL), an affiliated section of the ISH. Celebrating World Hypertension Day all over the world was established and started by The World Hypertension League (WHL). WHL is a health organization lead around 85 national hypertension societies and associations worldwide. It had started the campaign of hypertension day to increase the common public awareness about the hypertension. WHL had launched the campaign of World Hypertension Day first time on 14th of May in 2005 however it was started celebrating dedicatedly every year on 17th of May since 2006. The purpose of the WHD is to promote public awareness of hypertension and to encourage citizens of all countries to prevent and control this silent killer, the modern epidemic. Hypertension is a condition called high blood pressure during which the arterial blood pressure raises to high level from the normal level (120/80 mmHg). It is medical condition called as silent killer as it does not show any clear symptoms. however severe hypertension show some symptoms of headaches, sleepiness, palpitation, blurred vision, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, ringing sensation in the ears, breathing difficulty, irregular heartbeat which may lead to even coma.
Suicide is among the top three causes of death among youth worldwide. According to the WHO, every year, almost one million people die from suicide and 20 times more people attempt suicide; a global mortality rate of 16 per 100,000, or one death every 40 seconds and one attempt every 3 seconds, on average. Suicide worldwide was estimated to represent 1.8% of the total global burden of disease in 1998; in 2020, this figure is projected to be 2.4% in countries with market and former socialist economies. India has one of the world’s highest rate of suicides among people aged between 15 years and 29 years. Suicide rates in India are climbing faster than in the rest of the world with Indian women having some of the highest rates on the planet. India alone accounts for approximately 30 percent of the world’s suicide deaths. There is a direct link between blood pressure and suicides. Too much stress in young age is the major reason for suicide. What’s bothering the current adolescent generation is stress due to academics, relationship with parents, peer groups and romantic relationships.
Shivdutt Singh, 20 year-old traveled more than 300 miles from the village of Kolari to Kota, a buzzing city in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan where students from all over the country come to cram for entrance exams to India’s highly competitive engineering and medical colleges. Students in Kota have hanged themselves, set themselves ablaze and jumped from buildings.
As per media reports, Singh had studied nonstop for six hours in his dorm room. He even called a cousin with a biology question. But then he locked the room and hanged himself from the ceiling fan. He left a note: “I am responsible for my suicide. I cannot fulfill papa’s dream.” That’s not just one incident.
Arjun Bharadwaj, a 24-year-old management student, committed suicide by jumping out of a 19th-floor hotel room in Mumbai. Media reporting suggested he had been depressed about failure in exams and repeatedly talked about ending his life on social media. There were also suggestions he was battling drug addiction. Bharadwaj’s story made the headlines — likely because he killed himself at a five-star hotel and discussed suicide methods on Facebook — but it is no exception: Every hour, one student commits suicide in India, according to 2015 data (the latest available) from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
The best time of the life that students are supposed to enjoy and cherish, is the time they are pushed to extreme levels which can be overwhelming for many. Every day, 6.23 students commit suicide due to the peer pressure, there must be something wrong that we are not understanding. The emphasis is so much so on the better grades, that students forget the fun element in learning. Anything can be made interesting if taught well, so it’s not only the students who underperform, teachers underperform too. Sadly, there’s no criteria to judge the grades of a teacher. More than 50% 12th students admitted of having more than 3 private tutors. Why are you paying schools such high tuition fees if eventually the students are going to study from private tutors?
In all cases, depression is cited as the ’cause’ of suicide in order to absolve everything else and shift the blame on a person’s individual psyche. The point is not to deny the existence of depression and its linkages to suicides (which cannot be captured by a simple cause and effect relationship), but rather to understand its very existence where it is not located only as an illness in someone’s individual psyche and ‘personal problems’. Though the equation of depression with a disease or an illness seems to give some relief to the people going through it as they can be relieved of the burden and stigma of being ‘weak-willed’ or ‘not being strong enough’ to be suffering and disintegrating thus. But ultimately it locates the problem within the person which one gets one fine day and which can be diagnosed and ‘treated’ and then one can be successfully reintegrated into ‘normal’ society. Depression does not emerge in a vacuum but from the very pressures and travails of the ‘normal’ society with its codes of normative behaviours and expectations and life conditions. Higher education institutions today have become hubs of depression and suicides are only a very small and extreme manifestation of it. To understand this epidemic of depression among students, we need to look at and question the conditions of education in our higher education institutions. The constant pressures of scoring well, meeting deadlines, increasing workload, ideas of excellence, competition, alienation, lack of space to share or even understand the stresses and despair generated from such pressures are making students walking bundles of nervous wreck ready to break down at any moment. Add to these the rising fee, cutting of scholarships, pressures of funding one’s education (student loans), precarious futures (all part of the neo-liberal reorganisation of Universities) and you will get the recipe for a nervous breakdown. One can only imagine the emotional condition of students belonging to various marginalised and under-privileged backgrounds facing discrimination at so many levels in our Universities.
Financial issues dominate the reasons for suicide: About 70% of suicide victims in 2015 had an income of less than Rs 100,000 per annum, the NCRB data revealed. Even though this figure isn’t disaggregated for students, it corroborated the study’s findings on the links between suicide and financial condition.
India being a developing country does not spend enough on mental health. Currently, it spends 0.06% of its health budget on mental health, which is less than Bangladesh (0.44%). Most developed nations spend above 4% of their budgets on mental-health research, infrastructure, frameworks and talent pool, according to a 2011 World Health Organisation (WHO) report.
Student suicides are now frequent enough to draw the attention of policymakers and celebrity campaigners. In Mann Ki Baat radio speech on March 27, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Indians to talk about depression and seek help if needed. Actor Anupam Kher, in response to Bharadwaj’s suicide, shared his email address on Twitter and invited anyone feeling depressed to talk to him — although depression is a condition that requires medical help. There is more need of such initiative not from family but also from the institute as well as every corner of society otherwise every time you will read this article, around 12 students will say goodbye to lives.