Devouring children

In the past week there have been more than four suicides, and all have raised questions.
However, the only thing that the society seems to be discussing is whether Islamic tenets permit normal last rites in such cases. However, the discourse or the concern to address this problem and prevent future cases is missing. In the recent cases those who take the extreme step are mostly young boys and girls in their teens.
A class 10 student committing suicide over getting just 93 percent marks shows something is terribly wrong with our society, where getting 98 percent marks in a unit test is the only way to bring ‘pride’ to the family. Well, that may bring the family’s dream of their ward becoming a doctor or an engineer, who then has to run after a government job or treat patients in a Saudi hospital, closer to realization but the pressure put on the young minds takes its toll.
Parents are not the only ones to blame; they are just a part of the society. Your ward getting one percent more marks than your friend’s or neighbour’s gets you the license to brag.
An average day of a teen student starts at 6:30 in the morning and ends at 7 in the evening. Running from one tutor to another to school to more tutors leaves little room for any leisure or personality development. Even the teachers at the school would tell you than in this ‘age of competition’ the student needs to go to a tutor?
In the age of cut throat competition, too much pressure is put on wards so that they are able to bring pride to family. The bench marks are 98 percent marks, admission in an engineering or medical college. Of course, their near and dear ones reward them with ‘mubaraks’ and ‘gifts’ but cannot compensate the psychological toll it takes on the young minds.
If a three year old is not able to secure admission to a missionary school his parents are devastated. The ‘guilty child’ is dubbed unintelligent! The first case I referred to in the beginning is from one of the elite missionary schools. The child was intelligent enough to get admission in the so called elite school and secure 93 percent in unit tests. But alas that was not enough. It took his life. The society took his life. And there are many more of our children who run the risk of taking such extreme steps.   
A student securing “less” marks is bound to suffer at the hands of his parents, relatives, family friends and the society in general. And the child has nobody to turn to when he faces this sort of pressure…probably the grandparents! But who prefers to live with them today. The parents who are the first to exert this pressure, won’t listen. We are not giving our children any room. Let them live.

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