Father ends life a day after son dies in Chennai over failure in NEET

The 19-year-old son Jegadeshwaran had completed Class XII from a CBSE school in Pallavaram last year. He appeared twice for the NEET exam but could not clear it

August 14, 2023 02:03 pm | Updated 10:33 pm IST - CHENNAI

P. Selvasekar (left) and his son Jegadeshwaran (right)

P. Selvasekar (left) and his son Jegadeshwaran (right) | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A day after his 19-year-old son ended his life over failure in the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), a 48-year-old man from Chennai was found dead. Unable to cope with the son’s loss, the father ended his life, police said. 

According to police sources, P. Selvasekar, a resident at Kurinji Nagar in Chromepet, who ran a photo studio, and his son Jegadeshwaran, 19, lived along as he was estranged from his wife. Jegadeshwaran had completed Class XII from a CBSE school in Pallavaram last year. He appeared twice for NEET but failed to get the required marks for medical admission under the government quota.

Jegadeshwaran took the extreme step on August 12 when he was home alone, the police said. As Selvasekar could not get in touch with his son, he asked the domestic help to check him. She found Jegadeshwaran lying unconscious inside the house and informed the father, who rushed back home. He rushed the youth to a nearby hospital, where he was declared as brought dead.

Selvasekar collected the body from the hospital after a post-mortem. Following the cremation, Selvasekar ended his life after returning home, the police said. His body was sent to the Chromepet Government Hospital for a post-mortem. 

Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development Udhayanidhi Stalin, accompanied by Minister for MSMEs T.M. Anbarasan, visited the hospital where the body of Selvasekar was kept.

Fayasuddin, a friend of Jegadeshwaran, asked if the government would do anything against NEET. “How many lives are we going to lose? Can nothing be done? He [Jegadeshwaran] wanted to serve the public. He is no more now. How many Jegadeshwarans and Anithas should we lose,” he said, and added that, “I joined MBBS but my friend could not do. Money is a factor is here since my father was able to pay.”

Talking to reporters, Mr. Udhayanidhi said: “The day NEET is scrapped is not very far. It has deprived us of many lives.” The Anti-NEET Bill was passed by the Legislative Assembly twice. However, the Governor either kept them pending or sent them back to the government. The Governor’s shirking of responsibility is the cause for such deaths, he added. 

‘Government at fault’

AIADMK’s general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami faulted the ruling DMK for not being able to adjourn the Lok Sabha even for once to highlight the issue of the Anti-NEET Bill despite having 38 MPs.  He wanted Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to hold discussions with legal experts and find ways to secure the exemption of Tamil Nadu from the test.

AMMK general secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran also called upon the DMK to strive “genuinely” for the exemption.

Tamil Nadu BJP president K. Annamalai on Monday said students should understand that ending one’s life was not a solution for anything. He stressed the need for instilling positive thoughts in children and raising them as confident individuals.

(Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104, Tele-MANAS 14416 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050)

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