Moved by the tragic case of a 17-year- old IIT aspirant committing suicide a day after clearing her exam, the Kota district collector has written an emotional letter to the parents of over 1.50 lakh students in coaching institutes, asking them not to force their expectations on children.

At least 19 aspirants ended their lives in 2015 while five students have taken the extreme step in 2016.

The five-page letter by Collector Ravi Kumar Surpur has been dispatched to the coaching institutes in the city and will be forwarded to the parents after translation into Hindi and other regional languages.

b’Representational image. Source: Twitter’

Referring to suicides by young students, the district collector wrote that for all of them death was a much peaceful and effortless action than going through the dilemma of artificially doing what their parents wanted them to do.

“Your solacing words of comfort, asking them to give their best and forget the results could have been the blade of grass” that would have saved precious lives, he wrote, adding, instead, what they got were threats to perform even better. 

b’Coaching institute in Kota/Source: PTI’

He also asked parents to think beyond Engineering and Medical for their children and consider other options too

There is nothing wrong in thinking on a certain kind of Assured Career Insurance for one’s child since limited resources and high degree of competition demands one to think ahead of times.However, I think we all agree that the World too has changed drastically in the last 15-20 years. Art, Entertainment, Professional Sports, Literature, Health & Fitness, Entrepreneurship, Journalism, Photography, Event management, Music, Adventure, Destination tourism, etc, to name a few too witnessed immense growth in comparison to the bygone era.

In his letter, Surpur has also mentioned the suicide note by the student who has urged her parents to let her younger sister opt for the subject and career of her choice, rather than have one forced upon her.

A Girl with an amazing command of English language in her suicide note (grammatically perfect 5-page Suicide Note with beautiful running handwriting) thanks her mother for giving up her career for raising the children…. Subtle hint that she was pricked on this matter again and again…. Another girl wants her grandmother to become her mother in her next birth…. Another requests her parents to allow her younger sister to do what she likes and not what they like…. One tells candidly that he was manipulated to study science which was not his taste…. Many simply write in fewer lines that they could not fulfil the expectations of their parents.
b’Source: PTI’

He asks the concerned parents 

”So, is it the objective of this letter to make you realise that your child dislikes you? Answer again is a big No.Your child does not dislike you. I am just making a point that unconsciously we may have created such a situation, which we need to undo.

And has this message for them

Allow the child “to be” on his own terms and here I mean especially the child’s engagement with nature and world around and empower them with the right kind of communication skills which are more accommodative…. Interaction with the other gender due to their coming of age is not an aberration but a normal process, which you can keep a note on but not try to prevent it totally.

“Are we interested in making the child realise ‘Your Dreams’ at any cost or should it be like creating such situations that the child realises ‘His/Her’ Dreams?” Surpur ends with this thought-provoking question.

Here is the full text of the letter:

The district administration has also decided to ask students to share feedback on the main causes of their stress, and how they usually cope with it. Officials have also met with those running coaching institutes for discussions on how to ensure the mental and emotional equilibrium of students.

(With PTI inputs)