Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The untimely death of teenagers due to alleged suicide during the time of examinations across Odisha is a matter of concern. Amid the ongoing Matriculation and Plus 2 examinations, as many as three students in Bolangir, Bhadrak, and Berhampur have died by suicide so far.

Family members crestfallen

Family members of 15-year-old Binayak Pradhan in Bolangir, who allegedly killed himself in hostel bathroom before the matriculation examination, are in a state of shock. Their dreams of a bright future for Binayak have been shattered.

“My son was a good student. He has not committed suicide, he has been murdered,” alleged Binayak’s father, Ratra Pradhan.

In another unfortunate incident, a student identified as Abhishek Panda from Jahangir Sasan village in Bhadrak district allegedly hung himself to death before appearing for the Matriculation examination. As per reports, Abhishek, who was a resident of Radha village under Udala block in Mayurbhanj district, was preparing for the examination while staying in his aunt’s house in Bhadrak. However, his hanging body was recovered from his aunt’s house. 

“I don’t think Abhishek committed suicide due to the pressure of exams. He committed suicide after getting a message from a girl,” said a relative, Madhabananda Mishra.

In another tragic case, a Plus 2 science student of a private educational institution identified as Debashis Sethi allegedly died by suicide after being caught indulging in malpractices at Khallikote Higher Secondary School. Debashis was a resident of Suryanagar village under Baidyanathpur police station. His body was recovered from his house on Thursday morning.
“Debashis was a good guy and a dear friend of us. We are feeling bitter after his sad demise,” rued Debashis’ friend, T Shivram Patra.

“They used to send us confidential report about the examination. The number of absent students and malpractice incidents should have been mentioned in the report. However, nothing in this regard has been mentioned in the report sent by the educational institution” said Kulamani Ojha, Deputy Secretary of the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Odisha.

“The student should not have committed suicide. It was not the last examination in life. He would have faced the repercussions as per the provision after being caught,” said Radhakant Nayak, principal of Khallikote Higher Secondary School. 

Mental aspect

Well, the number of teenage suicide cases in Odisha is quite high. As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, as many as 534 teenagers committed suicide in 2022.

According to mental health experts, children in this age group need awareness and counselling at the school level.

“Teenagers are generally impulsive. They usually take any kind of steps suddenly without thinking about its consequences. When they feel that they are not able to fulfil certain expectations, they take any kind of drastic steps,” said mental health expert, Ashirbad Satpathi.

“Students should not feel unnecessary pressure during the time of examination. They should recall whatever they have studied and write accordingly in the examination,” said Nihar Ranjan Mohanty, President of the Board of Secondary Education, Odisha.