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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

90 - 30th Nov 2010 - IIT to remove ceiling fans to curb suicides- Indian Express

Kautilya Singh
Posted: Tue Nov 30 2010, 03:59 hrs

The four-member team at IIT-Kanpur, probing the suicide of Civil Engineering student Madhuri Sale, has come with a plan to help prevent suicides in hostels: replace ceiling fans with pedestal fans.

In the last five years, eight IITians have committed suicide—five of them hanged themselves in their hostel rooms. Another proposal is to end allotment of single rooms to students—now, a student gets a single room from the second year.

Sale, 21, a resident of Nalgonda in Andhra Pradesh and a fourth-year student at IIT-K, hanged herself from the ceiling fan with a rope on November 17.

A four-member committee comprising Prof Omkar Dixit, Prof Mukesh Sharma, Prof A K Ghosh and member of the student gymkhana, C Rahul, was formed to probe the reasons.

A source told The Indian Express: “We have a strong reason to recommend the replacement of ceiling fans with the pedestal fans in the institute hostels. By replacing the ceiling fan with pedestal fans, we can at least remove one option for students who are depressed due to some reasons or the other.”

He claimed that the committee was against the concept of allotting a single room to one student. “With regular interaction with room partners, the students get an opportunity to express their emotions. Even if students are given a room, the wall between two such rooms should be demolished, so that the students get their desired space as well as the company of a fellow student,” he added.

He said that efforts have been made to reduce the Internet “addiction” of students. “The Internet speed has been reduced considerably between midnight and 8 am so that students do not download stuff during this time,” he added.
The panel, however, is yet to find why Sale committed suicide. “Sale was a good student, and had a Cumulative Performance Index (CPI) of 5.8 which is pretty good, and she had done well in most of her exams. She was a brave girl who came from financially poor background and had done considerably well in the past three years,” he said. He asserted that poor academic performance was not the reason behind her suicide.

The faculty member said her suicide was a shock for the faculty as well as the students.