UoH, where are suicide prevention measures?

Twenty-year-old Birbal Koizora Debbarma’s failed suicide bid at University of Hyderabad campus on Monday midnight is the third such incident in the campus in the past one year.

Published: 09th November 2017 01:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2017 08:01 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Twenty-year-old Birbal Koizora Debbarma’s failed suicide bid at University of Hyderabad campus on Monday midnight is the third such incident in the campus in the past one year. Birbal has fractured his legs and skull and is recovering.The suicide attempt by the IMA linguistics student has once again rocked the University. Earlier in August,another student attempted suicide by consuming 20 paracetamol tablets citing academic pressure.

Though there is no clarity on what pushed Birbal to take the extreme step, administration and students’ union are facing flak for not doing enough. Facilities like counsellors, grievance cell and anti-discrimination cell are for namesake and are not active say students.“These mechanisms have failed to help students as many are not even aware of their existence. Those who do prefer approaching the students Union, seniors or their faculty members,” says Rakhi N, a PhD scholar.

A native of Tripura, Birbal is also a member of Northeast Students Forum. Members from the Organisation told Express that he mostly kept to himself. Was he reserved by nature or was he not interested in the activities or the organisation is tough to gauge at this point.

What is clear is that rising instances of suicide attempts in the campus indicate all is not right here. “There is a need to revamp strategies in dealing with such issues. It’s about time the administration and the Students Union engaged responsibly,” says Bhavna Rani, another student.The University has refused to acknowledge the suicide attempt as there has been no official communication suggesting the same from the police yet.

Prof Vinod Pavarala, official spokesperson of UoH, however, stated that if the student did attempt suicide, they would have to wait for information to ascertain if it was caused by academic or personal issues.
“Besides bringing in reforms we would also want to create awareness among students that there is no stigma involved in seeking professional help.”

Students raise funds for Birbal
While Birbal is out of danger, he has to undergo several surgeries over the next three months that is likely to cost `5-6 lakh and University students are raising funds for him. “It’s heartening to see the support. Even some faculty members have extended their help. Soon, we would also be approaching the administration,” said PhD scholar Chothazo N.

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