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Facilitating an initiative taken by the Kota district administration to help students de-stress, a new helpline has been launched on 7 February, 2016. The 24-hour GPS-enabled helpline number for students enrolled at coaching institutes will begin functioning from 17 February, 2016. The helpline numbers are 0744-2333666 and 0744-2414141. The helpline has been set up after around 30 students prepating for IIT JEE entrance exam and the Pre-Medical entrance Examinations from coaching institutes in Kota committed suicide in the past 14 months.
The new helpline will be run by city-based clinical psychologist Dr M L Agarwal, and will function with help of the registered society 'Hope', set up by then District Collector T Ravikant in 2010. The society has prepared a detailed manual with 60 questions frequently asked by students in distress. The helpline will offer round-the-clock assistance to students through trained and experienced clinical psychologists. The call centre will have two trained counsellors working in three shifts of 8 hours each.
Counsellors have been trained to identify the degree of stress by asking the first three questions. Once an assessment of the level of stress is made, students will be given treatment," the GPS device would aid in tracking the students calling in.
Dr. Agarwal said "Our team is trained to sniff out suicidal tendencies. In case the student shows signs of suicide, our team will rush to track the student and bring him or her to the clinic for further treatment. Counsellors will then monitor the progress of students over the next six months."
Ravi Kumar (District Collector , Kota) said, "We will monitor the flow of funds, but will not help financially. Anyone willing to donate can contribute towards the running of this helpline ". Administration will monitor the helpline, including calls. It will also keep track of the manner in which students are helped. The collector has also instructed coaching institutes to widely publicize the helpline numbers.
This initiative was much needed in Kota where the students preparing for entrance examinations face enormous pressure to perform. More often than not, the coaching centre's pursuation coupled with parental and societal pressure is too much for the students to handle. Although the need of the hour is to let students choose a profession they are interested in rather than forcing entrance exams down their throat, this step by the Kota Administration will provide some assistance in minimizing the student casualties.
CollegeDekho urges help to all those who can to aiugment this initiative to function properly.
Source: Mithlesh, City Journalist - Kota, CollegeDekho