Students Need To Escape From Mental Stress: SOA VC Prof. Ashok Mahapatra

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Bhubaneswar: Eagerness to give shape to one’s ambition and the associated anxiety result in depression which is leading to an increasing number of suicides among the younger generation, eminent neurosurgeon and Vice-Chancellor of Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA) Prof. Ashok Kumar Mahapatra said while delivering the first SOA Fortnightly Academic Lecture (SOFAL).

He gave the example of 17-year-old Shanmugam Anitha, a brilliant student who topped the Plus-2 exam under the Tamil Nadu State Board three years ago but committed suicide because she could not get a seat in any medical college.

“Was it necessary for her to end her life just because she couldn’t become a doctor?” he asked during his interaction with students.

He stressed that a person must understand that failure to secure a seat in a medical college was not the end of the world as there were many other avenues to channelize one’s talent and knowledge.

Not just young people, their parents should also realize this without pressurizing their wards to achieve goals fixed by them.

Speaking on ‘Healthy Lifestyle’, the Vice-Chancellor pointed out that the Union government had launched the National Mental Health Program in 2005, keeping in view the psychological state of young people.

Prof. Mahapatra, who was the first Director of AIIMS Bhubaneswar, informed that that 48 per cent of students who got MBBS seats at AIIMS were found to be suffering from depression.

“Notwithstanding their academic success, they suffer psychologically. It has got to do with their mental health,” he said.

“Most students don’t have a balanced work-sleep cycle as they keep awake till 2 am. They may be brilliant students, but no one told them to lead a disciplined life,” Prof. Mahapatra remarked, adding that most schools are interested in the success percentage of Class 10 and Class 12 students passing their exams.

“Success in life does not mean lot of money as it cannot buy you health or happiness,” Prof. Mahapatra said. He added that young students must sleep for eight hours and should not over-eat.

He also suggested that spiritualism needs to be inject in young students, and recommended Swami Chidananda’s book ‘Choice Is Yours’ to all students.

Dr Kamal K. Kar, Assistant Program Advisor, NSS Directorate, Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of India, spoke on the topic ‘Volunteerism: The call of the hour’.

Dr Jyoti Ranjan Das, SOA’s Dean (Students’ Welfare) was present while Dr Nachiketa K. Sharma, Programme Coordinator, SOA NSS Bureau moderated the session.

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