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To 'prevent suicides', IISc Bengaluru officials are removing ceiling fans from hostel rooms

In the last two years, there have been six cases of suicide on campus

To prevent suicides, IISc Bengaluru officials are removing ceiling fans from hostel rooms

According to students, officials at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru are removing ceiling fans from dormitory rooms in an effort to prevent suicides on campus.

In the last two years, there have been six cases of suicide on campus.

Ceiling fans in dormitory rooms are being replaced by wall-mounted fans, according to students at the country's most prestigious educational institution. Personnel working to remove the ceiling fans have told the students, according to an internal email addressed by students to the head of the Student Council, "all rooms in all the hostels of the IISc will be covered in the next 15 days. They state that the move is in response to the recent student suicides in hostels."

According to reports, the students conducted a survey in which 89 percent of respondents said that ceiling fans should not be replaced by wall-mounted fans. The majority of the pupils claimed they were unconcerned about the change. Along with the e-mail to the head of the council, a poll completed by students has been attached.

Meanwhile, 86% of students polled believe that replacing ceiling fans with wall-mounted fans will not reduce suicides.

"Taking this poll as a sample indicator of the entire student population of IISc, it is clear that currently the student community does not wish to proceed with this installation.They see no worth in its value proposition. Even more alarmingly, beside the 5-7% who affirm of the change, there is a non-zero 7% of the population which could not form an informed opinion on the subject – a subject that directly affects or will affect their domicile – for some upto the better part of this decade," mail stated.

Meanwhile, a youth counsellor called it a non-scientific manner of approach by the management of IISc. Bharathi Singh, Youth Counselor, CEO at Samudra Foundation, said, "The alleged decision is an impulsive reaction on part of the management. The Institute should work on a grassroot or core reason on why students are committing suicide. The management through counsellors should address the anxiety issue, fear of failure or academic pressure including the personal issues since the students are staying away from home."

The Institute should focus on putting up a student counselling centre and teaching staff to be empathetic to students, according to Singh, who is also a campaigner fighting to prevent suicides in Bengaluru. "Management should enrol counsellors who can regularly talk to students and available for the students where students can tackle their psychological and emotional issues," Singh added.

The wellness centre on campus, which was put up to provide mental health support to students, has not been effective, according to a member of the IISc student council, and there have been calls to enhance it.

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