Hyderabad: A wave of suicides by students, after the announcement of Intermediate first and second year results, which has seen the toll hitting 13, has left the state of Telangana in shock, triggering protests by other students and their parents.
While as many as six students ended their lives in Hyderabad, seven other incidents were reported from various districts since the results were announced on Thursday last.
As many of the students were toppers in earlier examinations and had surprisingly failed this time with zero in some of the subjects, parents have expressed serious doubts about the efficiency of the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education.
They cited one incident in Mancherial district where a girl who was failed was later awarded 99 out of 100 marks following verification.
The second year student, Navya from Chintaguda village, applied for verification of her marks as she had failed with zero mark in her favourite subject — the Telugu language.
The girl who had secured top rank in the district in the first year examination staged a protest outside of the office of the Board of Intermediate forcing the officials to verify her marks and she turned out to be a top performer with 99 marks.
It has raised serious questions about the functioning of the Board as well as the growing mental pressure and stress levels among the young students.
Other students were not as lucky as Navya who held her nerves and demanded justice.
Some chose to end their lives.
One of them was 17-year-old Dharma Ram, nephew of industrialist and Telugu Desam member of Rajya Sabha C.M. Ramesh.
He jumped from the room of the apartment building where he was staying with his family on hearing that he had failed in the examination.
He was rushed to hospital in critical condition, where he succumbed.
Described as ever-smiling and playful Dharma was expecting good marks in mathematics, on which his future plans hinged, but when results came he had failed.
In Jagtiyal district, adjacent to Navya’s Mancherial district, another 17-year-old girl, V. Shivani, hanged herself at home while other family members were asleep. She had failed in three subjects.
In neighbouring Kamareddy district an 18-year-old young woman committed suicide in a similar way after she failed the exam.
Though such incidents occur every year after the results of 10th, 11th and 12th standard results are announced, this time the number of suicides has left everyone shocked and raised the questions about the mounting pressure on the young girls and boys.
In the Indian milieu the Board examinations of 10th and the Intermediate first and second year are seen as the most crucial for the future career prospects of the students as they determine their path to the higher education including their appearances in competitive examinations like Neet and Eamcet to get a seat in medical and engineering colleges.
Along with the students who failed to clear the examination this year, the results also brought many parents out on to streets in Hyderabad and other places who demanded re-evaluation of the papers.
“My son who usually scores high marks has now got below average marks and he is not eating for the last two days”, complained a mother on the verge of tears. “We need to get his papers re-evaluated”.
Many other parents alleged that there were irregularities in the Board of Intermediate leading to the students who earlier performed well failing this time.
Former minister and a senior leader of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti T Harish Rao also took to Twitter to express his shock and grief. “To see so many young children committing suicide over failure in examination has left my heart sheared. Failing in examination is not losing in life. Life once gone will not come back. Please don’t end your lives”, he pleaded.
He also urged the parents and teachers not to pressurise the students.