Image source: National Herald

19-year-old NEET aspirant dies by suicide in Tamil Nadu

A 19 y/o NEET aspirant died by suicide by jumping into a well. Although there's no suicide note, parents blame the extreme stress he faced.
Vignesh, a 19 y/o NEET aspirant, died by suicide
Representative image (Source: American Psychological Association)

A 19-year-old NEET aspirant jumped into a well to die by suicide in Ariyalur district, Tamil Nadu. The teen’s parents also emphasised that he was lately under severe stress due to the exam.

Tamil Nadu will hold the exam on Sunday, September 13.

Vignesh, son of Vishwanathan, was 19 years old, and was going to give NEET for the third time. His earlier attempts were unsuccessful. In fact, although he scored well enough to enter a college, financial stress stopped him from joining a college last year. Hence, he felt even more stressed. Although they found his body, there seems to be no suicide note. However, Ariyalur SP, VR Srinivasan, reported that the stress from the thought of giving the NEET exam, especially during a pandemic, may have been the trigger to Vignesh dying by suicide.

Local villagers protested to stop NEET, but revenue officials stopped them.

Only last month, R Subhashree died by suicide after the Supreme Court dismissed pleas and confirmed exam dates were announced.

Three years ago, in 2017, a similar incident occurred where Anitha, a class 12 topper, died by suicide after failing to get a seat through NEET. At that time, NEET was just made compulsory. Prior to that, the state used to take the plus two marks for admissions.

Suicide case of NEET aspirant starts political row

MK Stalin, Chief of DMK, urged the central government to stop the exams, lest more lives are lost. Likewise, S Ramadoss questioned how holding NEET will increase the quality of medical education when it depends largely on privilege. He further pointed out that students who score less (than students like Vignesh) can join private college because they can afford the heavy fees.

Furthermore, he noted that suicides due to fear and frustration from the NEET entrance exam may increase over time. Hence, he suggested that the central government cancel NEET permanently. Moreover, he urged the Tamil Nadu government to compensate Vignesh’s family with Rs.50 lakhs.

Even as entrance exams go on, students continue protesting online against them. Even states with non-BJP governments repeatedly asked for the cancellation of exams. After all, the risk of getting COVID-19 only seems to be rising as India continues to set records for the highest spikes every other day now. Despite this, the Supreme Court stays stubborn with its decision to hold the exams.

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