In less than a week, Tamil Nadu witnesses the second death by suicide of another 19-year-old NEET aspirant, Jyothi Sri Durga. She left a suicide note and a video, apologising for the step she was about to take and urging her parents not to blame themselves.
Jyothi Sri Durga lived with her parents and a brother in the armed forced reserve quarters in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Her father, Murugasundaram, is in the fifth battalion of armed forces.
Last year, she gave the NEET exam, but could not score well enough to get a seat. She planned to give it again on Sunday this year. She had been preparing for the whole of the last year, often studying late into the night.
On Friday, she talked to her father about how she would do in the exams. Her father believed that she could score above 550 and thought she seemed okay otherwise as she talked to them normally during dinner. After that, she went, supposedly to sleep, to her room.
‘I am sorry, I am tired’ – Jyothi, NEET aspirant, leaves note
The next morning, on Saturday, a day before the NEET exam, her parents knocked on her door to give her a cup of tea. However, she did not respond. The parents noticed that the door was also locked. They called on her phone too but she did not answer. Thereafter, they broke in and found her body, hanging from the ceiling fan.
Jyothi left a note and a video addressed to everyone in her life, asking them to forgive her and also forget about her.
She repeatedly apologised to her family and repeatedly asked her parents not to blame anyone. She expressed her concerns about not being able to meet their expectations for the NEET exam. Moreover, she felt that not reaching their expectations meant that their hard work would be in vain. Her parents feel shocked and realise that felt depressed, despite how normal she may have seemed.
Local police sent her body in for postmortem now.
People call for cancelling NEET
The three deaths by suicide of R Subhashree, Vignesh, and Jyothi – each of them a NEET aspirant – are pointing towards larger issues. People are voicing the need for the cancellation of the NEET exam during a pandemic, as well as increasing mental health support. At an individual level, conversations are going around for parents to ensure they talk to their children more often about the stress they face and to reduce the pressure on them.
India is looking at not only a pandemic, but perhaps also a suicide epidemic now.
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