Suicide of Kerala teen sheds light on peer pressure among school students

Ardhra’s is not a single case of exam results taking a toll on students. Each year, after every result declaration day, there are reports of student suicides.
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

KANNUR: Earlier this week, a 15-year-old girl, Ardhra Sirosh, ended her life in Kannur. Despite achieving high marks in SSLC results with 9 A+ and 1 A, Ardhra’s triumph was not enough to satisfy societal predilections. Ardhra died by suicide from the pain that her best friends (all achieved full A+) were being honoured by her school, Panur GHSS, and she was not invited to the event.

Ardhra’s parents, Prajeesha and Sirosh are teachers. Being the daughter of schoolteachers might also have become a burden on her prestige. “She was a brilliant student who came first in all her exams. Unfortunately, she was not able to achieve full A+ in her SSLC results. She was in Bengaluru when the results were announced. She seemed to be okay at that time,” said Ardhra’s close relative Joshina Praveen.

“Since both her parents are school teachers, we were aware of the stress she experienced during the exam results. We never blamed her for not getting full A+. On Monday, on the day of the incident, she seemed happy. At first we were not sure about the actual reason behind her suicide. Later we came to know that there was a felicitation event for full A+ holders in her school and all her best friends were invited to that event,” Joshina added.

Ardhra’s is not a single case of exam results taking a toll on students. Each year, after every result declaration day, there are reports of student suicides.

The Commission for Protection of Child Rights member, N Sunanda, told TNIE that suicide among students has increased drastically after the lockdown. Academic pressure, peer pressure, and family issues are affecting children more than expected.

“In the case of Ardhra, both her parents are teachers. This itself might have put a huge pressure on her. Mental health among children became the focal point after the Covid lockdown. Until then we were not aware of the issue. According to our data, 311 children below 18 years died by suicide during Covid lockdown. In 2022, this increased to 345. Academic pressure and peer pressure are the main reasons behind these suicides,” said Sunanda.

The Commission for Protection of Child Rights organises district and state-level stakeholders’ meetings every year to analyse the issue, and submits a report to the government.

“The commission organises awareness classes through the district education department and students police cadets to school students to overcome their exam fear and academic pressure. Initiatives like ‘Chiri,’ ‘Dhisha,’ and ‘Sakhi’ aim to help students manage exam fear and academic pressure. Additionally, training sessions for Kudumbasree members help identify children in distress within families,” Sunanda added.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com