NEW DELHI: As many as 49 students, including a significant number of Dalits and tribals, of residential Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) reportedly committed suicide between 2013 and 2017. Voicing concern over a large number of suicides, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday issued a notice to the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, seeking a detailed response on whether the required assistance was available for students in JNVs.
The NHRC acted after taking suo motu cognisance of a media report which highlighted the issue of suicides committed between 2013 and 2017 in JNVs. Half of the victims were Dalit and tribal students, and the majority of them were boys, it said.
The rights panel asked the ministry to respond within six weeks on whether trained counsellors were available on the campuses so that students could talk to them about their feelings. Information has also been sought on whether there is dedicated staff to ensure that children are not left alone in rooms, and if emergency assistance through counselling over phone and suicide hotline services are available to them.