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Lights Out For An Hour Every Now And Then Is IIT-Kharagpur's Unusual Way Of Dealing With Depression On Campus

It is supposed to help students mingle more.

19/06/2017 11:04 AM IST | Updated 19/06/2017 3:44 PM IST
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The Indian Institutes Of Technology (IIT) across the country are difficult to get into and even more difficult to survive. The pressure of studies and marks in the IITs is often the reason behind mental health problems among students. The news of students taking the ultimate step of committing suicides is also something that the college administration grapples with.

Given the number of suicides rising on campus, IIT-Kharagpur has come up with an unusual way of making students connect with each other on campus.

The Hindustan Times reports that IIT-Kharagpur has been cutting off power in the hostels for an hour in the evening, once in a while, in the hope of students coming out of their rooms and interacting with each other. They are also planning to set up coffee machines in the hostels so that students can take a coffee or tea break during when the lights are off.

In April, an aerospace engineering student in IIT-Kharagpur committed suicide. Police had said that Nipin N, a fourth year student from Kerala was suffering from depression. Another student had killed himself in January by throwing himself in front of a moving train. Lokesh Meena, a third year civil engineering student, was found to have had anxiety and depression.

Such incidents of suicide is supposed to have pushed the officials into taking serious steps. But is this particular step of blacking out hostels going to help?

A student has told The Hindustan Times, apparently it has. "It was like an outreach programme where the administration wanted to speak to us... tell us what had happened and how it was important to be connected with fellow students. Many came out of compulsion but realised that it helped. Students interacted with each other, even discussing the suicides that had been troubling for many of us,"Anisha Sharma told the newspaper.

Apart from this, the college administration is also planning orientations for parents because most parents seem to concentrate on placements and packages putting pressure on students.

Read the entire story here.

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