Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar shared his joy of receiving his first National Award for ‘Rustom’ from the President on May 3 in a video message, but there was something in this video, which showcased his concern and thoughts about mental health.
He dealt with this sensitive issue of rising suicide rate among India’s youth, which has grappled the society, with extreme care. He began with narrating his own dilemma he faced when he was a child. Akshay spoke about the time he had failed in his school exam and how his parents, especially his father, had spoken to him about his desires and dreams instead of criticising him for his poor marks.
The actor voiced his concern about how stress of how today’s youngsters are victims of stress of failing in exam, which is resulting in them taking their lives. The actor emphasised on the importance of life and pleaded his viewers to consider the pain their actions would inflict on their parents.
Further, he requested and encouraged the parents to spend more time with their children talking about their joys and sorrows.
He questioned, “How will your child address his problems to you when you yourself are glued to your phone while your child is searching ‘friends’ on Facebook.”
In the over four-minute-long video, Akshay said he has been reading regularly about suicide cases and this has moved him to take this issue up.
“I read about suicide cases. In fact, every year almost 8 lakh people kill themselves out of which 2.5 lakhs cases are from India. Most of them are youngsters who commit suicide under pressure of studies or their failed relationship. Why… does your life has no value? If you want to do this, give away your life for the country instead. No matter how big is the stress, for once imagine the state of your parents when they would get to know about your suicide. Your parents do not deserve this kind of devastation,” he continued.
In this video, posted with hash tag #DirectDilSe, Akshay also spoke about the taboo of mental health check-ups and assured the viewers that every problem always had a solution.
Dr Sanjay Kumawat, Ex-Deputy Director and Superintendent of Mental Hospital, Thane, said, “This materialistic world creates gap between relations. Today, communication between children and parents have almost vanished, specifically among working parents. There are multiple factors responsible for increasing suicidal tendency in child. Excessive demand and expectations both academically and behaviourally, keep expecting child to do as you wanted without considering child’s thoughts, his dream, keep comparing with sibling or other children. All this puts so much pressure on child that he decides to finish life.”
Dr Kumawat said healthy communication is essential between child and parents.
“Listen to your child, talk to them, guide them, try to understand he or she is just a child and let them who they are,” advised Kumawat.
Watch the video below:
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) May 3, 2017