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Frustration grips students

165 commit suicide during pandemic


Published : 13 Jul 2021 09:47 PM | Updated : 14 Jul 2021 12:24 AM
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At least 165 students have committed suicide amidst the ongoing closure of all educational institutions for around 16 months since the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

Of these, 79 were school-goers, 46 were from university-medical college, 29 from college and 31 were from madrasa. Most of them were between 12 and 20 years old.

This information has come out from the reports published in the media since the closure of the educational institution on March 17 last year, due to the surge in coronavirus transmission, till July 9 this year.

Priyanka Biswas, 13, a class VIII student from Faridpur, committed suicide on July 11 after her father stopped her from going out of the house during the imposed lockdown.

Earlier, Marjia Akhter (15) in Pirojpur gave up her life on July 3 for not having a mobile handset of her own. The 10th grader has been repeatedly asking her family to buy a smartphone for her online class for the past several days.

In addition, on May 29, the parents scolded Fatema Akhter (17) for not paying attention to her studies in Tejgaon. The SSC examinee, out of frustration hanged herself to death on the same day.

According to Aanchal Foundation, a youth organisation, from March 8, 2020 to March 8, this year some 14,436 men and women committed suicide in the country. The suicide rate has risen by about 45 percent, as they claim. Of the total suicides, 57 percent were women and 43 percent were men.

According to a survey by the organisation, 85.1% of young people, mostly students, spend most of their time on social media during the lockdown hours. At this time, their mental stress has increased by 63.5 percent, more than before.

During the Covid period, young people mainly have faced career frustration, loss of focus on studies and work, mood swings, loneliness, marriage pressure from family despite being uninterested, financial problems, session clutter, uncertain future, excessive addiction to mobile phones and tend to commit suicide out of frustration, according to the survey.

Psychiatrists and researchers say the long-term closure of educational institutions during the period is increasing the stress on students' personal lives. Many are failing to control even minor problems, including frustration with education and career, family issue, love conflicts, financial crisis, depression and loneliness. As a result, they do not hesitate to decide to commit suicide, even in trivial matters.

Obaidul Karim, a professor of Sociology at the University of Chittagong, told Bangladesh Post, "People choose give up on life when they feel normless and isolated from family and society. Students are not finding any new stimuli in the lockdown hours. There is no social movement happening at the moment to keep them stimulated. They hardly feel any joy and find any kind of silver lining."

"To get out of this situation, we have to give new motivation to people's lives. The belief that the pandemic has come and will be gone soon will give people new light to move forward. It can be tackled if multi-disciplinary actions can be taken by the society, family and the country altogether. ", he added.

    

For a long time students have been away from studies, school premises, friends and playground. These have led them to grow isolated attitude among them. Parents are worried as well, therefore.

Md. Sarwar Ahsan, father of Zayed Ahsan, a 6th grader of Mirpur Bangla High School in the capital, told Bangladesh Post, "My son's school has been closed for a long time and he is confined within the house walls. Nowadays, the suicide news in the media makes me worry.”

Experts are emphasizing on the responsible role of the family, increasing awareness and tolerance to get rid of this suicidal tendency of the youngsters. They say that a person with depression should not be left alone, rather they need to spend time with family and friends to have cheered. If that doesn’t work, one needs to regularly contact with mental health professionals, including counsellors at respective educational institutions.