The Telegraph
Sunday , September 23 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Filmmaker joins war against suicide
- Bollywood celebrities & sports personalities to attend seminar

Jamshedpur, Sept. 22: Three social organisations, a school, the director of a hardware institute and a filmmaker have joined hands to curb suicides in the steel city.

Their effort will result in a maiden three-day conference on fighting suicidal tendencies. The seminar will be held in the last week of November at XLRI Auditorium. A host of Bollywood celebrities and sports personalities are expected to attend the event.

The initiative is a brainchild of Loyola School alumnus and Bollywood director Praval Raman. The conference will be organised jointly by city-based NGOs Jeevan and Listening Post and a Delhi-based outfit Prayas, while Loyola School and hardware institute IIHT director Ravish Ranjan will also pitch in.

“With the help of East Singhbhum district administration, we also plan to put up hoardings and billboards in strategic locations with messages against suicide and display contact numbers of Jeevan and Listening Post. The latter instils confidence among individuals through listening therapy conducted by trainer and motivator Chandreshwar Khan,” said Jeevan director Mahabir Ram.

“We are planning to involve some leading Bollywood actors and sports personalities in our fight against suicide. Their presence will help us spread awareness among masses. We will campaign for organisations like Jeevan and Listening Post,” added Loyola School Father Victor Misquith.

The organiser, however, refused to spell out any names.

The effort is significant for a city that last year saw suicides making up a staggering 19 per cent of all unnatural deaths in a year against a national average of 5 per cent. According to the survey conducted by Jeevan, this year the figure has already touched 16 per cent.

Raman, who has Bollywood flicks like Darna Mana Hain and Gayab, to his credit, was supported by Loyola School principal Father Victor Misquith in this regard. Later, Ravish Ranjan joined them.

“While I was in Mumbai, I read a lot about the growing incidents of suicide in my home town. I approached Loyola principal,” said Raman.

The trio were joined in their efforts by NGO Jeevan that has been working on this field for the last five years and later Prayas that works for slum children and girl child education also showed interest. Listening Post soon followed them.

Mahabir Ram added that more and more schools are joining them and about 15 schools have pasted phone numbers of Jeevan on their notice boards so that any student can contact them for psychological help. These same 15 schools had organised programmes to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.