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Posted at: Feb 8, 2018, 1:03 AM; last updated: Feb 8, 2018, 1:03 AM (IST)

Suicide trend: Expert against romantic folk tales in school curriculum

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 7

Col RC Patial (retd), Principal, Government Senior Secondary Residential School for Meritorious Students, has said that the high number of suicide trend among teenage girls in the state is disturbing.

Jasmine, a Class XII student of the school, had attempted suicide by hanging herself in her hostel room on January 11. He is of the opinion that the ‘Punjabi Paath Pustak Saahit Mala’ and ‘Punjabi Kavita Te Vaartak’ being taught to Class X students is not fit for teenage students.

“Undoubtedly, the romantic poetry of Punjabi Qissa Kaav is an important part of the Punjabi literature and folklore. This portion of literature is not as per the mental development of teenagers,” he says.

He elaborates that Peelu’s ‘Mirza Sahiban’, Waaris Shah’s ‘Heer-Ranjha and Hasham Shah’s ‘Sasi Punnu’ are not according to teenagers’ mental age to rightly draw out lessons.

With the emergence of mass media like never before that highly focuses on the love relationship, the availability of this literature cast a spell on innocent mind.

“In such folk tales and poems, the main characters try to have their beloved by all means, even by giving away their lives for their love. Students in their adolescent period think that such deeds are great.”

They start imagining the same life as of their ideals and can even try to commit suicide for that which in their eyes is a very heroic act not caring for their loved ones.

Undoubtedly, the increasing mental stress among students is the main reason behind them taking the extreme step. He said campus counsellors must be a part of the residential schools. They should have direct access to parents as well, he added. Statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau show that 6,654 students committed suicide in 2012 and the number went up to 9,474 in 2016 in the country.


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