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Indian Youth more suicide prone?

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source: http://blog.askiitians.com

By Ila Garg

Suicides have lately become a great cause of worry. More and more children are seeing suicide as an easy escape route for their problems. Of late, the suicide rates have been on an alarming rise, especially among Indian youth.

According to a study conducted by WHO, every year about 8,00,000 people commit suicide worldwide. Among these 17% are Indian residents, mostly falling in the 15-29 age group. The reasons for these can be variable. However, the one thing that can be clearly observed is that the Indian youth is under pressure and the high expectations, peer pressure, falling grades, lack of job opportunities, workplace harassment, etc. can be the driving force towards the path of ending their lives.

suicide

Akash Shukla, a print journalist from Lucknow says, “One must have the right to end something that they don’t like. They should have the right to reject life. Suicide is, in a way, liberation – a liberty from a screwed-up life that you never wanted but became yours, inadvertently. We all have a sense of responsibility towards ourselves. No matter how close someone is to you, no one can understand the deepest pain that a heart hides, except the self. That’s why a man is responsible for any choice he takes – either life or death.

The youth thus, fails to understand that suicide doesn’t end the pain, but simply passes it on to those you love. They are so blinded by their sorrow that they see suicide as the means to end it; not giving it a second thought.

source: http://blog.askiitians.com
source: http://blog.askiitians.com

“Suicide should be the end of extreme problems, but not every problem,” says an ardent blogger, Shwetabh Mathur.

If reports are to be believed, Indian youth residing abroad are most prone to committing suicides. A recent data reveals that majority of suicides in Fiji are among the children of Indian descent. The statistics are nearly same for Indians in Malaysia too, as quoted by the Asia-Pacific Psychiatry journal Indians account for about 40% suicide deaths in Malaysia.

Poisoning and hanging from the ceiling have emerged as the most used methods to commit suicide.

With the number of suicide cases increasing, the Minister for Education Mahendra Reddy has expressed his concern, “There needs to be an investigation… Everyone here is important – the parents, the school.”  In addition, he suggested that passing a law to cut down on volatile substances that may lead to death might help in bringing the suicide rate down among children.

Earlier, in 2003, the draft of Volatile Substance Abuse Decree could not proceed due to constitutional requirements. This draft, spearheaded by the national substance abuse advisory council, stated that the wholesalers and retailers who are found selling the banned products can be punished. Reddy believes that legalising this decree might help to some extent but still the question that remains is why the children are driven to commit suicide!

Social isolation has been found as one of the major reasons for committing suicides. A feeling of being the odd one out or not wanted in the peer group has also compelled some to become self-centered and a victim of depression. A prolonged case of depression then leads to suicide attempt.

“Suicide isn’t something natural. Unless one has conjured up a philosophical reason to die, the person is usually depressed, psychotic, severely impulsive, or is simply crying out for help and doesn’t really want to die. So, it’s almost always an avoidable step,” says Roshni Chakrabarty, who hails from Kolkata.

“We need to be more aware of the people around us in order to notice any behavioral changes and also give them the chance to reach out for the help they need,” she added.

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Surfeit of Choices and Too Many Alternate Options of Engagement Gradually Eating into Time Spent before Box

Broadcast TV now faces a media landscape which its once prime position is being threatened

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Time, Box, Indians
A surfeit of choices and too many alternate options of engagement are gradually eating into the time spent before the box. Pixabay

A surfeit of choices and too many alternate options of engagement are gradually eating into the time spent before the box. Although Indians still spend nearly four hours a day watching TV, the shift to alternate screens is happening fast. Broadcast TV now faces a media landscape which its once prime position is being threatened. A shift in socio-cultural preferences is igniting this change in viewing habits. Cord cutting, as the phenomenon of actually giving up your Cable or Satellite connection which is quite apparent in markets like the US, is now slowly making an entry into Indian homes. I know many people who now access all their news and entertainment via Internet and on demand is becoming more dynamic and democratic than ever before. As broadcasters, we can propagate programmes online and on demand, and if we can catch the viewers attention, they will be discussed and recommended by thousands of people on social networks in real time, becoming instantly accessible by new viewers.

Globally, there is a trend where many large telecom firms like AT&T, Comcast, Singtel, Airtel and Jio are acquiring media (and entertainment) companies — and tech companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Sony (they acquired Columbia three decades ago) are diversifying into content. A handful of entertainment giants like Disney, Bertelsmann, Discovery and Viacom are still in the race of eyeballs. Of course, there are hundreds of local and regional players around the world and some of them like Times Group in India are of a significant size. Besides, several OTT platforms/services are still out there pretty much panning the proverbial gold. Where do simple vanilla broadcasters fit in the everchanging world of tomorrow, specially in India with its diverse audience of a billion plus is consuming more inexpensive data i.e. information and entertainment than even highly developed markets like US Europe.

Three billion viewers all over the globe are not going to junk their TV connections in a hurry but within the next four or five years, half of them will switch to streaming on demand services. Unfortunately, technology and regulators worldwide are adding to the woes of conventional TV networks. Long-form entertainment is still very much in broadcasters’ domain. The real threat is the changing lifestyle and habits of today’s generation. Increasingly, we are seeing the success of made for streaming films, dramas and documentaries etc are stealing audiences. With larger budgets, courtesy deeper pockets even the talent is attracted towards the tech turned media conglomerates and OTTs . There is not only a shift in consumers but purveyors of media and entertainment away from linear TV. Gaming and short form content is another magnet pulling millions apart from the box. Multiple media across multiple devices is the new normal. From archetypical family viewing home entertainment is getting individual, interactive and instant. Streaming audio/video and personalised TV with a smorgasbord of different formats both genres and duration is the way forward for sure.

Time, Box, Indians
Although Indians still spend nearly four hours a day watching TV, the shift to alternate screens is happening fast. Pixabay

Content, a term used for anything from a tweet to a thesis, news to exposes, a song to a music channel, a short video clip to a library of films is hardly a differentiator in most cases. Even exclusive coverage major sporting events, political upheavals, wars, disasters or triumphs of the human spirit can get you only fleeting audience. Nothing is sticky anymore. Regurgitating of the same story in different formats is hardly compelling. One reason that broadcasters will lose this battle is their inability to innovate their programming. A cookie cutter approach where formatted shows are universally produced and screened are now reaching a fatigue level. Every successful show or programme is replicated. More of the same works to a large extent and it has in case of television but now it’s coming to the end of the course. After a point familiarity breeds contempt.

Also Read- Apple Needs to Sell More Devices and Create More Desi Content to Bring More People into Its Ecosystem

In fact, so far OTTs have had successes which had either a different look and feel than existing broadcast shows or went into darker areas. However, programmers and creators must be wary of falling in a similar trap as their predecessor. If everyone is going to rely on a similar matrix, albeit in a broader spectrum of genres, only the best will survive. I believe that the present average of 4 hours a day of tele viewing is about the optimum to sustain. Unlike appointment TV which has a fixed point chart and hence limited programming options online watching streamed or stored has virtually no limitations of choice. The next enhancement for consumer will be virtual reality and immersive TV and customisation. The coming five years is festival time for Indians as we will be offered a large array of content by different platforms. Creative fraternity needs to understand the new fragmented and attention deficit audience. It’s broadcasters who have to begin thinking of a strategy for the next decade or face extinction. (IANS)