49 Navodaya Students Committed Suicide in 5 Years, Half Are SC/ST
The General and OBC categories accounted for 12 suicides each.
An investigation by The Indian Express has revealed that 49 students killed themselves in the last five years, i.e. 2013-2017, in the central government-run residential schools, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas.
Of these, at least half were from the SC/ST category, with 16 from the SC category and 9 ST students. The General and OBC categories accounted for 12 suicides each, reported the daily.
According to data acquired via an RTI, a majority of the students who committed suicide were boys. Further, the suicide rate hit the double digits in 2016, ringing warning bells in the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, which issued a 11-page circular as reckoner on the issue.
According to the Express’s investigation, the highest number of suicides were in class 12, followed by class 11, class 9 and class 10.
The reasons for suicides range from unrequited love, family problems, punishment in school, humiliation faced, etc.
Of the 49 suicides, 42 were death by hanging. The remaining cases involved drowning, jumping in front of a train and jumping from a height. Most of the victims were either found by their friends or teachers.
Speaking to the daily, the commission of the NVS Biswajit Kumar Singh said the period of the suicides peaked in the three months after summer vacations, and the exam months, confirming the possibility of the stress of domestic dispute, and academic stress.
The Express investigation involved 46 schools, of which 41 schools were approached for interviews, etc. Over the course of their investigation, it was revealed that the schools are currently facing several challenges.
The Navodaya schools were established in 1985 by the government to uplift sections of the poor by enrolling talented students from weaker sections of the society. Since 2012, the schools have boasted a 99 percent pass percentage in class 10 and 95 percentage in class 12, surpassing private and CBSE schools. Located in places with a higher rural population, over 2.8 lakh students currently study in these schools.
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