Kota: Amid the rising number of suicides by NEET and JEE aspirants in this coaching hub, District Collector OP Bunkar wrote a letter to encourage them and assured he and his team were by their side.
In the inspirational letter he penned down on Sunday, Bunkar asked students not to get defeated by failure, saying, “If one road closes, other roads are open and waiting for you.”
“You are not alone in the city. I am here (main hoon na), doors of my office and home are always open for every student. Don’t hesitate. Learn to share the stress. Whatever kind of fear or stress you have, do share it with me,” he added.
The collector directed coaching institutes, hostels, and paying guests to put up his letter on their display boards.
Over 2.5 lakh students move to Kota annually to prepare for competitive exams such as the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for engineering and the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical colleges.
The year 2023 has seen the highest number of student suicides — 22 so far — with two ending their lives in a gap of a few hours on August 27. Last year, the figure was 15.
A packed schedule, cut-throat competition, constant pressure to do better, the burden of parents’ expectations and homesickness are the common struggles of the students here.
In his letter, the Kota collector expressed concern over the suicide incidents and urged students not to get disheartened over failures.
Referring to the students who recently allegedly died by suicide here, Bunkar wrote, “You have gone, but before going, you should have thought what would happen to your parents who were committed to fulfilling your dreams by willingly sacrificing whatever they had.”
“You all became members of my family on the very first day you reached this city to fulfil your dreams and I am constantly in an effort to care for you and to provide you a happy environment here,” the collector wrote to the students Bunkar, in his letter, also recollected the joyous time he spent during interaction with some students.
“All of you work very hard to attain your target,” the collector said, adding, “If one road is closed, several other roads are open and waiting for you.”
“With a little fall in ranking in a test, you take yourself broken down, sink into tension and pack yourself in a room and continue to think that nothing could happen now,” Bunkar pointed out to the students, while adding that “failure is the first step to success” and none of their failures was a parameter to decide their personality.
The collector exhorted the students to explore the city and visit the nature parks and recreation centres for relaxation.
“Just once come out and see what is not there in my city, the beautiful riverfront, rising waves of River Chambal, fascinating gardens and groves; every circle is eager to welcome you,” the collector urged the students.
He also advised students to take some time out to meet friends and for other fun activities so that they feel refreshed.
Bunkar also mentioned in the letter the initiatives taken for the students to release them from stress and to address their concerns. He also called upon students to explore their potential as there were several avenues to a bright future.
Concluding his letter to students with an inspirational note, the Kota DC said, “Dear students, you are strong, have got a lot to live life. You have the courage to move on ahead surmounting every weakness and difficulty. Believe it, nobody can defeat you until you yourself succumb to defeat.”
After a rise in student suicides here in 2016, the then collector of Kota Ravi Kumar Surpur wrote an emotional letter to parents of coaching students asking them not to burden their wards with their expectations and dreams.