An inconvenient truth about engineering.

As I scroll through my Facebook wall, I see an image of a boy tagged with the text “engineering student suicides”. Later that day my phone is flooding with messages saying “It may be a murder”.

As I dig deeper into this I find that his name was Abinath and he was a first year Mechanical Engineering student at Sri Sairam Engineering college, Chennai. College management says it was a suicide. Parents say it was a murder. But friends, he’s gone. I dedicate this post to everyone who knows the meaning of the word “engineering”.

There are more than 550 engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu, of which there are around 30 govt institutions. Remaining are private institutions where education is a hardcore business. I’m an engineering student who’s going to pass out in a couple of months. A common disclaimer to all, if you find this post disturbing, hit the close button 🙂 Yes, I’m also an engineering student. I may not be mature enough to write this post. But I’m writing the truth 🙂 or the facts.

There’s a common saying in India. “Become an engineer and then fulfill your dreams”. When it comes to the case of Tamil Nadu, it’s totally true. You can find an engineer, errr wait…. a “B.E.” degree holder everywhere. Right from a guard to a delivery guy, everybody holds a “Bachelor of Engineering” degree. With the heavy rise in unemployment, private institutions shout their lungs out with only one phrase – “100% percent placements” and people fall for it.

There are students who are totally passionate about engineering. To the maximum, 30% of the students in an engineering college are hardcore engineers. The rest are the one’s who say “bro, some IT job is enough for me. I’m not worth for core sectors”. There’s the other category of students who say “Dude, I will mint some money, resign my job and will get into working on my passion”. My reaction would be like “Why the hell did you spend lakhs of money on this course?” Then comes this stereotype answer which I don’t wish to type here 🙂 There are the third type of students who don’t really care about their studies, but be awesome in their own respective field of interests. By the end of their final year, these people get to follow and start achieving their dreams, no matter how worse they are in their academics. Remember people, nobody’s a failure. There is a superman or a wonder woman living within each person. (apologies batman fans 😉 I’m saving it for another post).

Education has become one of the sectors where millions of Rupees can be generated. Few parents come to a mindset – if the college is strict, then their daughter/son will fly high, touch the rainbows and slide between the clouds. Added to that is the shameless marketing of the  institutions saying that they have world class facilities, experienced staffs blah blah blah. Prior to the announcement of 12th standard results, a clean framework is drafted by few parents. You score high, you get the college you choose. You score low, you’ll be pushed into the institution which we choose. Whatever happens, you’re going to be an engineer. There’ll be another group of students who literally die every single day in the name of IIT-JEE coaching class without any interest in it. In the midst of all these things,  inside the head of that student, he’ll be dreaming himself as an artist, singer, director, poet, writer, lawyer, doctor etc.

So your results are out, you’ve got low marks or something they call it as a “cut-off mark”. A person would have got 195.99 as his/her cut-off without knowing what is gravity in physics, what is effervescence in chemistry, what is amoeba in biology. He/she would have vomited what he/she read the night before. Well, there’ll be another person who’d have scored 196.45 and would have lost his/her seat because of the reservation systems (that kill people) fixed by our awesome government 🙂

So you’ve got low marks.Probably you’d have paid a bulk amount of money and now put into “a” college where they’d give “100% placement and awesome infrastructures with three meal a day along with a dorm”. WOW, that sounds great!!! Till then, it’s all fine. Now starts the real battle. Hostel students are the ones who are badly affected by this. Parents may not know what’s going on within the compounds of the campus. They may be thinking that the “coaching” is for the goodness of their child. He/she may be subjected to heavy stress. Verbally abused. Guys will be harshly treated. Students cry like hell and talk to their parents as if nothing had happened. They just say “I’m fine”. Fear overtakes everything. They are mentally pushed to a state where they say “I need to pass. I just need a pass mark, that’s enough” or “I need a job, I just need a job, that’s enough”. There are people who realise “I’ve made a mistake, I need to discontinue. I don’t need this”. But it’s too late. If you are ready to face the hurdles imposed by the institution in the name of “course discontinuing process”. You can opt.

The teachers, wardens and others do not know what the student is actually going through. There’ll be a personal life for every adult in this world. Engineering in few colleges is pure slavery. Sensitive students find it really hard to run their four years in the college. The institutions impose stupid rules. Turn their students into an animal or a mentally disturbed person by the end of four years. If you have a chance to talk with an engineering student, better a failed engineering student from one of “these” colleges, try to hear what they are experiencing. It’s literally mental torture.

My message to parents:

Kindly choose a college which best suits your child’s character and activities 🙂 please don’t choose a college hearing, it has “100% placements” or “it’s strict”. Enquire about the college, talk with few alumni. If you are confident on your son/daughter that he/she will make it, please allow them to pursue their dreams. I’m not gonna blame any parent as you always give the best to your child 🙂

My message to students:

So you’re into engineering, you have an awesome dream that’s in no way related to “B.E”. Never give up 🙂 Your time has just begun. If you are not interested to learn about the engineering concepts, learn about the people around you. Observe, observe and observe. Be cautious of every single thing that’s happening around you. I’m sure that it’ll help you a lot in future. Work harder to achieve your dreams. Never ever give up. You’ll be placed higher than any other person you know of. If you think you can, you will. Never stop with one achievement. Whenever you feel depressed, start working. Be selfish about your dreams and passion. Yes, be selfish. It’s going to be a tougher race than passing those set of papers to get a “B.E” next to your name in your marriage invite. But you can!

Do not get addicted to drugs, cigarettes and drinks.

Please do remember…. death is not a solution for anything in this world. Every problem has a solution. 

R.I.P Abinath. 


6 thoughts on “An inconvenient truth about engineering.

  1. Hope this state where a student finishes B.E and then thinks about his/her future should change. I also wish a student atleast discovers what he/she wants before completing their high school and speak to their parents about it n hav fingers crossed for acceptance 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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