Another NEET-related suicide has been reported in Tamil Nadu, the third in the last five days, when 17-year-old student Soundharya T committed himself three days after taking the exam. Soundharya, a student from Thalaiyarampattu village near Katpadi in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore district, allegedly committed suicide because she was afraid of failing the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) on September 12.
Soundharya, a student of Thottapalayam School, had secured 510 marks out of a total 600 in her Class 12 and had written the NEET from Kingston College of Engineering. According to reports, she had told her parents that she was scared that she would fail NEET. She reportedly had confided in her family and friends that she did not fare well in the exam.
According to reports, Soundharya allegedly told her mother upon returning home after the exam that the paper had been tough and that she had been unable to perform well. She also appeared disturbed since the day of the exam. On the morning of September 15, her parents had left for work as usual and when her mother returned, she found Soundharya dead in her room. Her body has been sent for a post mortem to the Vellore Government Hospital and Medical College. Investigation is currently underway by the Katpadi DSP and Revenue Inspector. Soundharya’s parents are daily-wage earners belonging to the Mudhaliyar caste.
This is the third incident in the past five days where a student in Tamil Nadu has taken their own life over NEET. On Monday, 17-year-old Kanimozhi, a student from Sathampadi village in Ariyalur district, ended her life. On Saturday, September 11, a day before NEET, 20-year-old Salem youth Dhanush died by suicide over fear of failing the exam the third time.
Two days ago, the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a Bill against NEET, aiming to provide admission to undergraduate medical degree courses not through the centralised medical examination, but on the basis of the marks obtained in the qualifying examination, through normalisation methods. The statement of objects and reasons in the Bill stated that the panel set up by the Tamil Nadu government had shown that those who are most affected by this exam come for lower socio-economic backgrounds.
Social groups affected the most were the students of Tamil medium, coming from rural backgrounds, students from government schools, those having parental income of less than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum, and the socially depressed and disadvantaged groups like the Most Backward Classes, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the Bill said.