Friday, December 03, 2021

‘Look beyond engineering, medicine’, Kota collector writes to parents

The letter has been sent to the education institutes across the district so that it can be mailed to parents.

Written by Mohammad Hamza Khan | Jaipur |
May 2, 2016 7:00:53 am

Three days after a 17-year-old IIT aspirant from Bihar allegedly committed suicide, Kota’s District Collector Ravi Kumar Surpur has written a letter to parents asking them to look beyond engineering and medicine as career options for their children.

In a five-page letter, the District Collector, who claims to have read over two dozen suicide notes during his tenure, says: “I consider myself as a very unfortunate person because I got a chance to read around 20-25 suicide notes of young, brilliant, beautiful and wonderful children…A girl with amazing command in 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 next birth. Another requests her parents to allow 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.”

The letter has been sent to the education institutes across the district so that it can be mailed to parents.


Recounting the grim suicides, he adds: “All of them thought that death was a much peaceful and effortless action than going through this dilemma of artificially doing what parents want them to do — the reality is that the child was mentally looking for some blade of grass which a drowning man searches for. That blade of grass could have been your simple appreciation of his efforts; your solacing words of comfort of asking him to do his best and forget the results.”

Kumar says that huge billboards, hoardings, newspaper clips showing ‘successful’ children puts pressure on the parents to resolve to motivate their children harder.

On April 28, Kriti Tripathi (17), an IIT aspirant from Bihar, had allegedly jumped to her death as she was disappointed with her scores in IIT-JEE Mains, the results for which had been declared a day before. Kriti was the fifth Kota student to commit suicide this year.

In his advice to parents, Kumar says: “Good career in the field of engineering and medicine as the case may be, is more of less like certain insurance in terms of decent earning and living standards…, entertainment, professional sports, literature, health and fitness, entrepreneurship, journalism, photography, event management, music, adventure etc. have witnessed immense growth in comparison to the bygone era. The point is not about asking you to see them as better options, but certainly to see them also as options.”

In January, the collector had written a letter to the students telling them that “life is beautiful” and that “clearing an exam or two is not everything”.

Kumar said that while a letter in English had already been sent to the coaching institutes, it was being translated in Hindi and regional languages.



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