At the crack of dawn a father walked into the room of his 14-year-old daughter, woke her up, asked her to study and left the room. An hour later, he returned only to find his daughter hanging from the ceiling.
Rajaswi Rana, a Class VII student of a reputable school in Patna, committed suicide on Monday morning at her upscale New Patliputra home.
Around 4am, Rana Amrendra Kumar (45) woke his daughter from sleep and asked her to study. A deputy commandant with the homeguards department posted in Aurangabad, Rana wanted his daughter to perform like her elder sister, who is said to be a bright student. An hour later, Rana went up to the room to check whether Rani was studying or not. After repeated knocks went unheard, the father pushed the door and found Rani hanging from the ceiling fan with her dupatta tied to her neck.
According to sources, Rani was an average student and there was an “apparent pressure” on her, exerted by her family, to perform better. People close to the family said she was often compared with her sister, a Class VIII student in the same school. She was repeatedly told to imitate her sister’s academic discipline.
“The girl was an average student. Her family used to ask her to perform better. With her examinations approaching, the pressure was more. Her father is posted in Aurangabad. He was also in-charge of Kaimur and Rohtas districts. But he used to visit home on Saturdays. His family lived in flat number 101 of the Royal Retreat Mansion in Patliputra. Initial investigations revealed that the girl was under pressure to perform and there was a constant comparison with her elder sister which apparently depressed her,” an officer at the Patliputra police station said.
The officer added that since her annual examination was approaching, her father used to ask her to put in more effort.
“She was not able to take this kind of pressure. We have not come across any suicide note from the room where her body was found. She had used her own dupatta to hang herself. The father of the girl woke her up from sleep around 4am and asked her to study. Once the girl woke up and opened her books, the father left the room. An hour later when he went to check what she was doing, he found her hanging. He alerted the other family members and we were called in later. The body has been sent for post-mortem to Patna Medical College and Hospital.”
Hetukar Jha, a prominent sociologist of Patna, said one of the reasons behind student suicides is communication gap. “Too much pressure is dangerous. Parents should understand this and act accordingly,” Jha said.