Over the past few years, there has been a growing trend of suicide among medical students in Sindh. Dozens of undergraduate medical candidates succumb to stress and depression perpetrated by parent’s unrealistic expectations, academic failures, peer pressure and the egoistic attitude of the teaching staff and university administration.
Tariq Ali Shahani, a final-year student at Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College in Sukkur, committed suicide after failing an exam paper. He left behind a note in which he expressed his love for his mother and described the reasons behind his extreme act. Nimrita Kumari was also a final year student at Bibi Asifa Dental College in Larkana. She was found dead in her hostel room. The local police claimed that she had committed suicide, however the family insists that she was murdered. The post-mortem report shows that she has been raped while an autopsy report commissioned by the Sindh High Court found evidence of murder and sexual assault and indicated that she was asphyxiated to death. But the overall investigation did not yield any ‘substantial’ findings so no action was taken. While these incidents were fresh in the minds of citizens, another horrifying tragedy happened. Nosheen Kazmi, a medical student of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University, allegedly took her life by hanging herself on the ceiling fan of her hostel room.
Such horrifying tragedies speak volumes of the administrative, academic and structural flaws prevalent in medical colleges across Sindh. No sane person would think of killing themselves unless they are either stuck in a deplorable situation or are compelled by others around them through intimidation and fear. In such a world, suicide should be equivalent to murder that is orchestrated by individuals and society.
Imdad Hussain Lashari
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2021.