Sumathi and Ganta Srinivas Reddy’s 19-year-old daughter studying at Delhi’s prestigious Lady Shri Ram College for Women died by suicide at her home in Telangana on November 2. She was a Mathematics student who left a suicide note citing that her family could not afford her education during and post lockdown. In her suicide note, she mentioned being a “burden” on her family that was struggling financially during the pandemic.
As several protests have since erupted demanding justice for the deceased student and her death has been labelled as “institutional murder”.
Here are ten things to know about the LSR student’s death.
1. A 19-year-old student of mathematics stream at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi died by suicide at her home in Telangana on November 2. According to local police, the girl hanged herself at her home in Shadnagar.
2. The student was class 12 examination topper from the state. In a suicide note, she cited financial difficulties as the reason behind her decision. Her parents said that they were “ready to go to any length to support her education” and had taken out a heavy mortgage for the same.
3. The IAS aspirant in her suicide note said that her family couldn’t even buy her a second-hand laptop to attend online classes during the pandemic. They had mortgaged gold ornaments and had reportedly even stopped sending their second daughter to school so that they could afford the older daughter’s education.
4. The student, who had scored 98.5 percent in Class 12, left behind a note written in Telugu. “Because of me, my family is facing many financial problems. I am a burden for my family. My education is a burden. If I can’t study, I can’t live,” the note reads.
5. According to her mother, her elder daughter was “depressed” after receiving a WhatsApp message asking to vacate her hostel room by end of October. “Any private accommodation outside would cost at least Rs 15,000 per month. We needed more money towards a deposit amount, too. All this when we did not have money to buy her a train ticket to Delhi,” noted Sumathi.
6. She was also a recipient of the Ministry of Science and Technology’s INSPIRE scholarship, and her note states: “Ensure INSPIRE scholarship is given at least for one year.”
7. “For two days before killing herself, she did not eat anything. She fought with her mother and was worried about continuing her education,” said Gandham Navyashree, a student of LSR, who hails from the same town. According to her, the teenager had talked on the phone even 10-15 minutes before ending her life. “She had shared with friends her inability to perform well as she was using her mobile phone for attending classes and doing assignments,” she said.
8. Her parents, however, are still doubtful about when the suicide note was written. “We were all sitting here. She forced me to have my dinner and went into the room. The door was not latched and we thought she was studying,” said her father. “Even in our worst nightmare, we did not think about it.”
9. Earlier, when actor Sonu Sood announced his scholarship initiative for students, the 19-year-old had written to him asking for help on September 14. She attached her certificates in an email and wrote, “I don’t have a laptop and I am unable to do practical papers. I am afraid I may fail in these papers. Our family is completely in debt so there is no way to buy a laptop…I am not sure whether I will be able to complete my graduation.”
10. The student’s death has led wide-spread outrage against LSR college administration as many have labelled the death as institutional murder.
Also Read: Can’t Live Because I Can’t Study: LSR Student Suicide Leads to Outrage Against College Admin
Image Credit: NY Times