Unable to attend virtual class, class X student commits suicide in Malappuram

Devika, daughter of Valanchery native Balakrishnan, who committed suicide on Tuesday.

Malappuram: A class X student committed suicide at Valanchery in Kerala's Malappuram district as she was allegedly upset over not attending virtual classes.

Devika, 14, daughter of Valanchery native Balakrishnan, set herself ablaze on Tuesday.

Her parents said that the teenager took the extreme step as she was depressed over not being able to attend the virtual classes.

"The child was disturbed as the television at home was not functioning. Plus, there was no smartphone. She was scared that her studies would be affected," the parents said.

Balakrishnan, a daily wage labourer, was unemployed during the last two months due to COVID-19 lockdown.

The family doesn't own a smartphone and their television stopped working a while ago. Devika had asked her father to get it repaired before the online classes started. The family was unable to do it due to their poor financial situation.

Devika had expressed concerns over missing classes and the financial struggles of her family in a suicide note found from the house.

She doused herself in kerosene and set fire at a deserted plantation near her house on Monday at 6pm.

Virtual classes were started for school students in Kerala from Monday amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The special sessions for class I to XII (except XI) are telecast via the KITE Victers channel and internet. Questions were raised about the new system and how students, with no access to television or internet, will attend the classes.

(Suicide is not a solution to any problem. Seek the help of psychiatrist, if needed. Helpline numbers: 1056, 0471- 2552056)