Friday, 8 June 2018

Third Law #9: How many more lives would NEET haunt?

“How many times can I bear failure?” was one of the last statements in the note she had penned hours before she committed suicide after being unsuccessful in clearing NEET twice. In a close watch, if we perceive in a socially conscious note, this is not just the second failure of Pratheeba, but, she herself is the second failure of Tamilnadu as a State. We already lost Anitha last year. And, still did not requite to that. Eventually, our dumbness costed this second life.

Pratheeba, a 19-year-old medical aspirant, has written an emotional suicide note to her father in which she has conveyed her apologies to her family. But the note is also an eye-opener to society also to know the pain that the failure in the national medical entrance has given her. Here are some excerpts from that.

In the suicide note, Pratheeba had said, “I have let you and our family members down. I lost your trust. I am sorry.” Having failed in NEET twice pushed the girl, who was able to score 1125 marks out of 1200 in Plus-Two, to commit suicide.

However, the words in her letter addressed to her father seem to mean a lot more than just the pain of failure. “I do not have the strength to bear another failure,” she wrote.

This was the second time Pratheeba could not score good marks in NEET. Last year, she took up the entrance exam and scored 155 marks. She also made it to a private medical college with the score. But, her family’s financial situation stopped her from entering the college.

This is not the first time the girl had made this decision. ‘If you had not stopped me two years ago when I took the same decision, I would not have brought you to this situation,’ she hinted at her earlier attempt at suicide.

But she also mentions that she does not want to be a burden to her father anymore. “If you had let me die before, you at least would have moved on from the pain by now. That’s why I am doing it now. I am going to die. I am sorry pa. I love you.”

In her two-page note, the girl blames herself for the failure more than anybody else. “I would like to live with you and our family that I love, for more time. But, I am not worth it,” Pratheeba wrote. She terms herself to be a curse to her whole family.

About her failure, she remarked, “It is painful that I am not going to be with you anymore. But this failure is even more painful.” She also pointed out her nature of being less grateful and concluded her note writing, “Like everyone else, I cannot live with what I have. I can never lead a life with this shade of a failure. So, forgive me amma, akka, anna. I miss you all. I love my family!” There she concluded her letter.

Though it was an emotional suicide letter to her father, the subtext of the note was a strong message sent to this society. In the middle of her two-page note, I got stuck at a line.

The general perception of society over a student’s failure to pursue his/her dream reflects in the words of Pratheeba. “I cannot go to my school with this. I cannot face my teachers or friends. I do not have an option,” she noted. Peer criticism is what she seems to have feared a lot. See, this is where we stand - in the middle of a conspiracy!

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, June 8, 2018.

This column, 'Third Law' will feature current affairs that break out to be the news of any day. In this column, I will try to figure out and put to the public debate, the reactions of any incident that might cause some serious effects on the society. Because, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.