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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Aasra in Times of India, Nagpur edition(aug 22,2012)

Suicidal instincts behind happy facades§id=70&contentid=20120822201208221729481688e7c6e27&subsite=

By Aparna Phadke I TNN Posted On Wednesday, August 22, 2012

As suicides snuff out 14 young lives in the city in August alone, TOI on what lies beneath that super-cool persona of a youngster and what makes their EQs so fragile. It's a sad message no parent would ever want to read. Yet, some parents are forced to read it - in suicide notes and text messages! It rings in their ear when they try and decipher a child's sentiments when he or she is no more. TOI on the fatal trail...

Happy faces, a facade?
It was a rocking school reunion, but students at this party were missing their dear friend Ishan Sathe. A budding cricketer who was chosen for IPL, the young lad had given up on life itself after his love allegedly went sour. Says 21-year-old Ashish Munde, his peer and batch mate, "We don't know what went wrong. After his training at VCA, he said he wanted to concentrate on his CA. But, we didn't even realise when he just stopped communicating with us. Anybody who met him would vouch for his jovial and masti khor nature. Looking back I think that was just a facade for the pain that he was hiding. If we had just chatted more, maybe he'd be here with us today!" If happiness is a facade, then silence it seems is fatal like in the case of young MBA and engineer Shruti Naranje. Seemingly, this bright girl had it all - a good degree, a fine job and an independent lifestyle. "But, one fine day, she decided to end her life and we don't know why," says her distraught friend Neha, adding, "She was a silent girl and we never knew what was going on in her mind. I just wish she had someone to talk to, I am sure she'd be alive. Nothing can be so depressing as to give up your life!"

Dial for help
As the thought of 'if she/he had communicated' runs through the minds of those who knew suicide victims, awareness that help is at hand, is needed, say counsellors. City social worker Dr Seema Sakhare, who runs 'Helpline Lifeline - 8888817666 ,' which is an initiative supported by Nagpur ZP and Nagpur Rural SP Manoj Sharma, says, "We started this service in March 2012 and our phone doesn't stop ringing! It reflects the grim nature of the situation. From March 2012, 71 students have ended their lives and in August alone, 14 students killed themselves! It's a distressing figure. We spread the message that Zindagi Nahin Milegi Dobara." Agrees Johnson Thomas of Mumbai based-NGO Aasra ( 022-27546669 , which he says is a crisis intervention centre for the distressed and suicidal. "The depressed have to know that someone cares for them. Suicide is a momentary feeling, and if that moment is tackled sensitively, we can save so many lives," he says.

Campus capers
While campus is meant to be a fun place, a little sensitivity shown by teachers and students will go a long way in curbing students, feels Dr M P Singh, principal of Priyadarshini College of Engineering. He adds, "We have Art of Living sessions, counsellors on campus and our teachers' numbers are available to our students on our website. So, 24x7 students can get in touch with teachers for academic and emotional problems." Adds Vivek Kapoor, Vice Principal and HOD of Electronics and Telecommunication at Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering and Research, "I think it's high time that counselling centres in professional colleges are given top priority. Our young generation is bright and intelligent. But, we need to save them from the emotional stress and pressure of expectations."

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