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Teenagers must be taught at school level that life is beautiful and indeed pretty long!
Yesterday morning (16th July 2014) I was stunned to hear that my friend's daughter committed suicide. She was the only child to my friend and was studying in class nine. My friend Ashok Bal is the son of great Odia devotional singer Bhikari Bal, the Bhajan Samrat!

Late Bhikari Bal was a greatest vocalist in Odisha. During his cremation he was given guard of honour at Swargdwar at Puri. Also a Khandua (a sacred cloth pieces) provided from Lord Jagannath temple was used to cover his body which is rarest honour to a Jagannath devotee.

Ashok Bal too is a singer and music director. He always loved his only child. So one can understand his state of mind. Anyway we all friends assembled and last rites of the body were done after post-mortem. In the mean time I got the information that led her to take such extreme step.

Ashok's daughter failed to clear the final examination of class ninth. She was asking for a promotion to class 10th through some grace mark as she felt embarrassed to sit again in class ninth with her juniors. Ashok Bal, his father requested the School administration for a reconsideration.

School administration somehow agreed that if the girl clears an instant examination, then they will consider. In the mean time the girl started siting in class 10 for some 10-15 days. Finally the instant examination was organized and but the girl again failed securing only 18% marks. Thus there was no other way than to continue in class ninth.

Parents convinced the girl that either she continues in class 9th in the same school, or they can go for another school where nobody knows her so as to get rid of the embarrassment. Girl agreed to continue in the same school. But looks some other plan was going in her mind.

Anyone including myself is really clueless on how nowadays teenagers take harsh decisions just overriding what would be the condition of their parents and other family member if they kill themselves for a reason which according to them is embarrassing!

This is not the only case. It's common in our country that post declaration of results of 10th board or 12th board, lots of students commit suicide because of poor examination result! This is definitely a teenage syndrome that is not able to compromise on the currency of situation or not able to take failures/pressure of expectations properly. This is a time of immaturity and many teenagers become victim of such things and terminate themselves.

Point is how to stop our children (particularly teenagers) from committing suicide for poor examination results? Should we make automatic promotion to next class? If such automatic promotion is at all implemented, what would be the quality of education our kids get? Even if there is automatic promotion can the suicides stop? In Odisha board, the provision of all pass is being followed with grades. Even then many students commit suicide because they get poor grades than their expectations! (My friend's daughter was reading in Central School).

Definitely counseling to teenagers might be a key to prevent them from taking extreme steps. I think psychologists would provide better idea on how to counsel the kids to face situations that's contrary to one's expectation! I would like to request fellow CJs to contribute on this aspect!

However, I personally have suggestion. Why not there should be mandatorily a course in class 8th, 9th and even 10th to educate students regarding life. They must be taught and made aware that life is always beautiful and indeed pretty long. One has always a purpose of life and has no point in terminating it because of just emotions.

Failures, compromises, embarrassment and sometimes awkward situation are part and parcel of life. One has to face these challenges promising him to overcome the current hardship! The examples of legends who overcome such failures would motivate them! Failure should always make one's resolve stronger to achieve success with more efforts!

At the same time, they should also be taught not to embarrass a person who failed or somehow trailing in some aspect! No doubt, science, mathematics, language studies, history-geography etc are important for higher studies. At the same time it's also important that students learn the positive side of life. A systematic education system would definitely aware the teenagers. They may fail in the examination but will never fail in their life! We can't afford to lose our children because their ego sometimes ruled them immaturely and due to absence of awareness of positive side of the life!

My friend Ashok lost his only kid like many other parents in our country. Isn't it time for us now to think out of box to deter such suicides! May the girl's soul rest at peace!

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