Kota City in Rajasthan is known as India’s capital for competitive exams in the country.
Students across the country leave their homes and go to Kota to undertake a 1-2 year rigorous training for their respective exams. They are away from their families and loved ones and are required to deeply focus on securing top scores, which will then secure them a seat in some of the top prestigious universities of India.
However, unfortunately, Kota is also referred to as a suicide capital for students. As per records, in the last six years, over 60 students have committed suicide in the campus, which is one suicide every month.. The mounting pressures from peers as well as back home, sometimes, lead the young minds to take an impulsive step which they cannot regret or reverse forever. Student suicides remain to be a major issue in this bargain and most victims choose to hang themselves from the ceiling fans of their hostel rooms.
To address this issue to the best possible extent, hostel associations in the city started considering to install springs in ceiling fans or replacing them with wall fans in hostel rooms. The spring-fitted ceiling fans would not just come down if a student tries to hang himself or herself from the fans, but would also sound a hooter to intimate hostel authorities of the suicide attempt.
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Sharad Ashani, an electrical engineer from Mumbai, has taken the responsibility of securing a life which tends to take such drastic steps. A retired general manager at Crompton Greaves, Sharad has designed ‘anti-suicide fan rods’ which can solve this problem.
According to Sharad, 61, the rod is suicide-proof. As per him, if anyone who wants to hang oneself to death, the ceiling fan won’t allow it. Recently, the first consignment of rods was delivered to the Kota hostels. Adding further Sharad said,
“When someone tries to hang self, the load exceeds the determined point and the “unlatching mechanism” in the rod is activated. This means that the road disengages from the fan and the person is deposited safely on the ground.”
He has priced the rod at a minimal cost of Rs. 250 which can be attached to both new and old fans. When the Kota Hostel Association were informed about the same, they immediately ordered 5,000 such rods for the campus.
“They have ordered some 5,000 rods to be installed across Kota hostels. The first consignment of 500 rods has already been delivered to them.”
Sharad, was highly influenced by the suicide of model Nafisa Joseph in 2004 which encouraged him to take up this responsibility of giving back to society. The hostel association aims to cover the entire hostels in the state with Sharad’s innovation, thereby, securing the least possibility of suicide by students within the hostel premises.
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