Bhubaneswar:The New Indian Express and city-based wellness centre Manam Foundation organised an awareness campaign on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day at the Railway Auditorium on Monday.
The event commenced with the ceremonial lighting of the lamp by the Chief Guest, Director General of Police (DGP) RP Sharma. Addressing the gathering, the DGP said suicides were not restricted to any particular section of the society. “Everyone has a role to play in the society to prevent suicides. It is important to raise an alarm. If you find someone having suicidal tendencies, you must talk to him and her,” he said. Sharing his experiences, the DGP said it is unfortunate for the society to loose young lives to suicides, who could otherwise would have become worthy citizens.
Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at AIIMS Bhubaneswar, Dr B.R. Mishra, highlighted the reasons that lead to suicides. He also discussed the ways to face difficulties in life with confidence and refrain from taking such extreme steps. He said someone talking or writing about death, getting addicted to alcohol or drugs, seeking weapons or objects to terminate life and acting restless are all signs of suicidal tendency in an individual. “You must intervene and talk to him or her,” he added. Mishra urged the audience to vent out their emotions, while facing difficult situations in life. “Do not isolate yourself at the time of crisis. You must wait for the good time to come. It is better to engage in some constructive activity to keep suicidal thoughts at the bay,” he added.
Dean of Students’ Affairs at NISER, Dr Pranay Swain opined that over-dependence on gadgets was a major reason towards the increasing cases of suicides. “We do not talk to each other. We are engrossed in the virtual world of gadgets. Thus, there is detachment and alienation. Half of your problems can be solved only by sharing your thoughts with someone else,” he added.
The Deputy Resident Editor of The New Indian Express, Siba Kumar Mohanty, urged Odisha Police to come up with a helpline to help families or individuals who are in distress and may commit suicide.
Students from various institutes, including Gandhi Institute For Technological Advancement, KIIT University, Maharishi College of Natural Law and NISER, attended the event in large numbers.
Students of Odisha Dance Academy enthralled the audience with an Odissi dance drama based on the poetry of Sylvia Path. The act, which sent a strong message against suicide, was choreographed by Odissi exponent Aruna Mohanty. A group of students from KIIT University presented a contemporary dance performance set to the tunes of Bollywood songs. Students of SAI Dance World stole the show as they danced to raise awareness against suicide.
The event concluded with the felicitation of students from various institutes who bagged prizes in creative and poetry writing competitions hosted by The New Indian Express.