'Life is Worth it, No Matter What Happens'
On December 21, Bangalore Multipurpose Social Service Society, in association with St. Aloysius Degree College, Vimochana, Parivarthan, Sampurna Montfort College, NIMHANS and a host of other organisations, launched ‘Speak Out, Reach Out’, a campaign against suicides among school children and college-going youth.
'Speak Out, Reach out' is targeted at students completing their 10th standard and PUC, who will be writing their exams in the next three months. And the timing is significant because exam times can not only be stressful for a lot of reasons, but it's also a time when the number of suicides among students rises, either because of lack of preparations or the guilt of not doing well enough. "We were very concerned about the rising number of student suicides in the city, especially during exam times. We thought that it was necessary to reach out to these children and show them that life is worth living, no matter what happens," says Fr Allwyn Thanganathan, Bangalore Multipurpose Social Service Society.
According to him, they first created a core group of teachers, psychologists, and volunteers from Aloysius, Vimochana, Montfort and other organisations. "This core team that comprises of 25 members will in turn train students at various schools and colleges," he says.
Five students from each class are picked and they are taught how to identify other children in distress, how to listen to their problems and how to reach out to them. A helpline chart designed by the core team is also being sent out to various schools and colleges.
The seminar conducted on December 21 at St. Aloysius was attended by around 100 students from Quathul Islam High School, BMS High School, St Anne's High School, St. Anthony’s High School - Ramamurthy Nagar, St. Anthony’s High School - Cox Town, St. John’s High School and Francis Xavier High School.