TN students, parents upbeat over helpline for NEET aspirants

Students, who have taken NEET examination, and their parents are upbeat at the latest initiative of the Tamil Nadu government of opening a helpline for stress relief for those who have taken NEET.

The helpline “104” was launched on Wednesday after a third student, T. Soundharya of Vellore district committed suicide fearing that she won’t be able clear NEET. Soundharya had topped in Class 10 and 12 examinations in her village.

Dhanush, 19, of Salem and Kanimozhi of Ariyalur district had committed suicide on Sunday morning and Monday evening respectively.

Divya Rani, 18, a NEET aspirant from Kancheepuram while speaking to IANS said, “I received a call from the helpline and the counsellors told me not to worry and gave me a lot of tips to stay in a healthy mental condition. They told me not to worry about the result and congratulated me on having attempted the NEET. Several of my classmates have also received calls and are indeed happy at the government initiative.”

State Health Minister Ma Subramanian has launched a stress management counselling service for the TN students who appeared for the NEET. The service was launched at the 104 helpline centre in the DMS campus, Chennai after three students committed suicide allegedly due to the fear of failure in NEET.

Ma Subramanian told IANS, “The health department has collected the details of all the 1.2 lakh students of the state who have taken NEET and counsellors will directly speak to them. The students would be made aware that exams are not everything and that they can again write exams and can become successful.”

The Minister said that the whole 1.2 lakh students of the state would be covered in 10 to 15 days time.

The students were categorised districtwise and shared their numbers with the district level officers concerned, the health department officials said. 333 counsellors from district war rooms, government medical colleges and headquarters’ hospitals across the state will contact the students and after taking their permission will speak to them for at least five minutes.

A counsellor at the helpline centre in Chennai told IANS,” We spoke to a large number of students and around 40 per cent of them said that they were at a loss on the results. We gave them confidence and told them that if at all they don’t qualify, they will get another chance and that there are other career options as well.”

Many students, according to the “104” helpline counsellor said that they were afraid that their parents would be unhappy with their performance and hence they were worried.

Sundaramanickyam, 48, a private company employee at Santhome, Chennai told IANS, “My daughter received a call from the helpline and half her stress is gone. It is much better than what we expected and thanks to the state health department and the Chief Minister, my daughter is back to normal. There is a little stress remaining in her and I think that it would be cleared after more interactions with her.”