JAIPUR/BIKANER: An 18-year old academically promising girl jumped before a running train in Hanumangarh’s Bhadara area on Friday morning, leaving a suicide note questioning conservative India’s resistance to allowing girls the opportunity to higher education.
In her note, Puja Kumawat wrote she was dejected that she couldn’t pursue her dream of clearing IIT and AIEEE despite securing 84% marks in the senior secondary examination because of discrimination in her family against girls pursuing higher education.
When TOI spoke to Puja’s family members, they said that they could not send her to a big city to prepare for IIT because, once there, she would have to fend for herself. They said their insecurities surrounding their daughter in an alien place made them stonewall her pleas for higher education in a place of her choice.
Puja had to enroll for a bachelor’s degree from a private college near her home in Bhojasar village, which sent her into a depression.
“Her family members admitted her to Shyam College in Bhadara five days ago. She was a first year BSc student,” said Mahendra Kumar, a lecturer at the college.
Police said Puja left her house for the college around 7.30am, where she approached her lecturers requesting leave saying her grandfather was unwell and she needed to see him.
“She reached Bhadara junction, some 2km from the college, and jumped before a train around 10am. A police team was rushed to the spot where it recovered a few books and a handwritten note explaining why she was killing herself,” said Bhadara police station in-charge Bhagala Ram.
The note states,
“Hamesha ladkon ko hi opportunity kyo milti hai? Mai ladki hu isliye mujhe mauka nahi mila? Zindagi ke sapne purey na ho toh, zindagi ka kya fayda? B.Sc meri majboori hai. Bad luck. Apni marzi se jaan de rahi hu (why do only boys get all the opportunities? I am a girl, so I did not get the opportunity. When dreams are unfulfilled, there’s no point to life. BSc is my compulsion. I am taking my life of my will).”
Her father Prithvi Singh Kumawat, who is a milk supplier, wept saying,
“Puja was a very bright student. She kept saying she wanted to pursue IIT. We could not send her to a big city as you know the circumstances there. A girl living alone in a big city is dangerous.”