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‘Exam is not bigger than life’: Suriya on suicide of four NEET aspirants

Tamil actor Suriya on Saturday, shared a video urging students not to commit suicide. His video comes after three students in Tamil Nadu killed themselves after taking the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) examination.

Suriya began the video by reciting the poem ‘Achamillai, achamillai, acham enbathu illaye (I have no fear of anything)’ by Tamil poet Subramania Bharati, also known as Bharatiyar. ‘All students should live without fear and with confidence, as a brother, I humbly appeal to you,’ Suriya said.

He continues by saying that if we look back we wouldn’t remember an incident from last week or last month which had incredibly upset us at that time. It loses its intensity and lessens the pain or it could have completely withered away with time. An exam is no bigger than life and he reaches out saying if we are depressed, approach people who are close to us like parents, teachers, friends and express ourselves to them. He even mentions that fear, anxiety, dejection, depression are things that disappear after a while. He points out that suicide, which is a decision we make to end our life is a lifetime of punishment that we give to our parents who love us and it’s something we should never forget.

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The actor also confessed that he showed poor performance in education. He added: ‘I have failed in all the exams which I have appeared in. Have scored humiliatingly low marks. And I can say this as someone who associates with you: Life is not just about scores and exams. There is a lot to achieve. To understand and love you, there are a lot of people. If we have confidence and courage in ourselves, everyone can win in life, and achieve big.’ Suriya concluded the video with the same poem.

Three students in Tamil Nadu – Dhanush, Kanimozhi and Soundharya, committed suicide last week due to their dread of failing the NEET exam. Since 2017, at least 17 students have committed suicide as a result of their NEET status.

Following Dhanush’s death, the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a resolution on September 13 to abolish NEET and allow candidates to enroll in medical schools based on their Class 12 grades.

According to the bill introduced in the Assembly, the grading system was unfair since it discriminated against pupils from low-income families. A high-level committee led by retired court Justice AK Rajan found that individuals most affected by the exam are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Students of Tamil medium who come from rural backgrounds, students from government schools, those with parental income of less than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum and socially depressed, disadvantaged groups like the Most Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes were the social groups most affected.


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