Dhaka, Bangladesh
Surge in child suicide

Editorial

Surge in child suicide

Time seems to be out of joint. People are now getting nonplussed to see the sudden surge in the cases of child suicide. At least 293 children committed suicide and 22 others made attempts in the last 11 months, according to Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF). A report, published in an English daily on December 6, revealed that the leap is significant from the last year’s 213 dead and 11 attempts. In 2016, the number of death was about half of this year’s. The rights group, however, thinks that the actual number of child suicide is much higher, because many incidents go unreported. Tendency of suicide has been increasing at an alarming rate among the students in recent times. So far, eight students of Dhaka University are learnt to have committed suicide this year. Three students died by suicide in November alone. The incidents of suicide are mainly attributed to unrequited love, academic pressure, family pressure, unemployment, tension and frustration. But it is something strange to see a strong tendency for suicide is prevailing among the teenagers, who are immature school or college students. Incidents of suicide by children have increased due to, what experts believe, a lack of awareness among family members and teachers about the modern-day stress in adolescence. The issue of child suicide, especially among school students, has come to the fore following the suicide of Aritri Adhikary, who was ninth-grader of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College. The incident happened after she and her parents had been humiliated by some teachers of the school for allegedly using mobile phone by Aritri during examination. We learnt that the school teachers were very boorishly rude with the teenager and threatened her with issuing transfer certificate. When her parents met the vice-principal and principal as well of the school, they were insulted and humiliated. This enraged Aritri and she was offended so much that she hanged herself from a ceiling fan at her house. When the importance of understanding teenage psychology is being acknowledged globally, our teenagers live in agony, humiliation and harassment. This suicide should be a whistle-blow to modify teachers’ behaviour with students. Children die by suicide for such incidents as scoring poor grades, rebuke by the parents or being bullied by others. Teachers should remember that teenage is very vulnerable because the teens are very emotional. A child needs psychological support from all quarters, but often they do not get it. Family, school and administration are not conscious about a student’s stress management. However, extra care and patience are needed when dealing with adolescents. It will be wise for us to remember that the misery of children overburdened with pressure to succeed by any means has reached its peak.

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