Parents and teachers on Wednesday joined XLRI's anti-suicide chorus to stem the endemic death wish deeply rooted in the GenY psyche in Jamshedpur ' a city that has an average annual self-murder rate of 100.
Reflections '13 ' a conference organised by Samarthya, a project undertaken by a group of students from the B-school ' discussed in length the positive sides of life and how to revive hope among depressed teenagers.
Samarthya is largely a campaign that teaches youngsters ' mostly students in the 15-18 age group ' to manage emotions and share teenage problems. Launched in July last year, the project has been a hit at Motilal Nehru Public School and is currently under session at DBMS English School and DAV Public School.
The conference, organised with the same objective of arresting the alarming suicide rate, was attended by principals, teachers, parents and faculty members of XLRI. Also invited were students from 11 schools in the steel city.
"It is high time that we stop playing the blame game and take some responsibility," said Father Victor Misquith, the principal of Loyola School and one of the speakers.
"It is a request to parents that no matter how busy you are, take out some time to communicate and share problems with your children," Father Misquith insisted. "If mothers say that junk food is bad, kids don't listen. So, mothers should take out time and cook. I know that children too have to play their part," he added.
Speakers like him focussed on how valuable one's life was, how important it was to analyse oneself and also how necessary it was to give appreciation to get it back.
On the sidelines of the meet, Samarthya members said they were in talks with many schools about starting anti-suicide sessions on campus.
"We conduct six to seven regular sessions for one class. It helps us understand their problems and fears. It is no gyan, but just informal interaction and sometimes we give them hypothetical situations to solve. We conduct two sessions a month," said Musheer Ahmed, a member and a second-year student of human resource management at XLRI.
The main objective, Samarthya members claim, is to let students know about the brighter side of life.
"We give them a problem and ask them to solve it. Each student comes up with a different solution. These are analysed and the best is chosen. We never say who is right or who is wrong. Instead, we use the time-tested trial and error method," Musheer explained.
Principals agreed that the idea worked. "Teenagers feel more comfortable talking to students of XLRI instead of teachers because the age gap is much less," said one of them, hoping that campaigns like this would motivate GenY and curb their death wish.