Now, Kota Hostels To Instal ‘Anti-Suicide Nets’; How Will They Work?

OB Bureau

Kota: A record 20 students preparing for competitive exams in the coaching hub of Kota in Rajasthan have ended their lives in 2023 so far.

Local authorities and the state government have been stirred into action as they seek to ensure that the spate of suicides is contained.

After spring-loaded fans in rooms, anti-suicide nets are now being installed in balconies and lobbies of hostels to prevent students from taking the extreme step, reported PTI.

The idea behind such a move is to make the premises ‘suicide proof’, said hostel owners.

“We have installed huge nets in all lobbies and balconies to block students in case they jump from higher floors. These nets can hold weight up to 150 kg and also ensure that students don’t get injured,” Vinod Gautam, owner of Vishalakshi Residency, a girls’ hostel with 200 rooms across eight floors, told PTI.

He hoped spring coils in fans and these nets will help prevent any untoward incident.

“No suicide has taken place in my hostel so far but we have to be ready. Parents often panic and such measures will give them confidence as they are far away from their children,” Gautam explained.

Elaborating on how these nets will dissuade under-pressure students contemplating an extreme step, Gautam said the nets are made of steel wires, which are very strong and mostly not visible.

“It is not possible to cut or remove them without professional equipment. The installation of these nets is currently in progress. Such an arrangement is used in various multi-story buildings in Mumbai. It is a costly affair but saving lives is more important,” Gautam said.

Another hostel owner said that iron nets have been installed in all lobbies, windows and balconies.

“Most students commit suicide either by hanging themselves from fans or by jumping from higher floors or terrace. We have installed measures for both to avoid any tragedy. It is bad for business too because once a suicide happens, students in that hostel start shifting to other hostels or PGs,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner OP Bunkar said several other measures are being taken, from routine psychological tests of students to effective communication with parents.

“Measures like spring-loaded fans can be helpful in foiling any attempt being made in the heat of the moment by a student. Once that attempt is unsuccessful, students can be counselled and other measures can be implemented too,” the policeman said about the measures being tried out in hostels and PG accommodations.

Over 2 lakh students move to Kota annually to prepare for competitive exams like Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for engineering and National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical colleges.

OB Bureau

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