Kota Installs Spring-Loaded Fans To ‘Prevent’ Student Suicides But It Hardly Helps

Trigger warning: This article contains details and visuals pertaining to student suicides. Viewer discretion advised.

It is only in the past 2-3 years that people in our country have started to talk about the importance of mental health and accessible mental health services. Before this period, the topic of mental health was rarely taken seriously in our country. There was immense stigma attached to visiting a therapist and people who would do so would be considered ‘mad’ or ‘crazy’.

Especially when it comes to the mental health of students, who feel trampled under the unimaginable weight of academic pressure in our country, our society seldom acknowledges the kind of difficulties they may go through. Teachers and guardians ignore the signs of poor mental health among students, try to discipline them the hard way and pressurize them thinking it will push them to work hard, but end up ultimately breaking their self-confidence and willingness to study.

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According to a May 2023 report by WION, the National Crime Records Bureau released a report wherein it was found that nearly 35 students in India commit suicide every day. Over 13,000 students died in 2021 in the country. If we are to talk specifically about Kota, where every year thousands of students arrive to prepare for competitive examinations, a recent report by Hindustan Times claimed that 3 suicide incidents occurred in Kota every month for the first 8 months of 2023.

In order to tackle this issue of student suicides in Kota, spring-loaded fans were installed in all hostels and paying guest accommodations. The authorities believe that this will “decrease suicide cases among students”.

A very graphic video was shared by ANI where a person can be seen replicating a suicide attempt using one of such fans. Have a look:

People online slammed this “preventive” method because if we were to talk about it practically, there are multiple other ways to commit suicide. Changing fans is not a solution. This step only trivializes a much graver problem – deteriorating mental health among students in India. What Kota needs is to establish a system wherein students will be given free access to quality mental health services. In addition to that, the numbing atmosphere of academic pressure that is created among students in such coaching institutes must be let go of.

Here’s how some people online reacted to this bizarre suicide prevention method:

Coaching institutes in Kota, as in every other part of India, need to create an atmosphere that is sensitive, compassionate, and holistic where students will be able to thrive emotionally.

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