Suicide prevention day: Creating awareness by enlightening youths

Bhubaneswar: Everyone has a role to play in the society to prevent suicides. What is important is to create awareness, said Director General of Police (DGP) RP Sharma while addressing an awareness campaign on prevention of suicides at the Railway Auditorium in the city on Monday on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day.

Sharma said suicides were not restricted to any particular section of the society. “It is important to raise an alarm. If you find someone having suicidal tendencies, you must talk to him or her,” he said. Sharing his experiences, the DGP said it is unfortunate for the society to lose young lives to suicides, who could otherwise have become worthy citizens.

Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at AIIMS Bhubaneswar, Dr BR Mishra highlighted the reasons that lead to suicides. He also discussed the ways to face difficulties in life with confidence and refrain from taking such extreme steps. “Someone talking or writing about death, getting addicted to alcohol or drugs, seeking weapons or objects to terminate life and acting restless are all signs of suicidal tendency in an individual. You must intervene and talk to him or her,” he stated.

Mishra urged the audience to vent out their emotions while facing difficult situations in life. “Do not isolate yourself at the time of crisis. You must wait for the good time to come. It is better to engage in some constructive activity to keep suicidal thoughts at bay,” he added.

Dean of Students’ Affairs at NISER, Pranay Swain opined that over-dependence on gadgets was a major reason behind increasing cases of suicides. “We do not talk to each other. We are engrossed in the virtual world of gadgets. Thus, there is detachment and alienation. Half of your problems can be solved only by sharing your thoughts with someone else,” he added.

Earlier, the DGP lighted the ceremonial lamp at the event organised by The New Indian Express in association with city-based wellness centre Manam Foundation. Deputy Resident Editor of The New Indian Express, Siba Kumar Mohanty urged Odisha Police to come up with a helpline to help families or individuals who are in distress and might contemplate committing suicide.

Students from various institutes, including Gandhi Institute For Technological Advancement, KIIT University, Maharishi College of Natural Law and SOA University attended the event in large numbers.

Students of Orissa Dance Academy enthralled the audience with an Odissi dance drama based on the poetry of Sylvia Path. The act, which sent a strong message against suicide, was choreographed by Odissi exponent Padma Shri Aruna Mohanty. A group of students from KIIT University under the group – The Protean Hoofers – presented a contemporary dance performance set to the tunes of Bollywood songs.

Students of SAI Dance World stole the show as they danced to raise awareness against suicide.
The event concluded with the felicitation of students from various institutes who bagged prizes in creative and poetry writing competitions.