Mumbai: After son's loss, Parents find solace in helping students deal with stress

Dec 01, 2018, 08:30 IST | Pallavi Smart

Sunita and Sanjay Ambhore have started foundation named after son Aniket, who killed himself at IIT-B, which conducts informal sessions with Class X students to help them cope with problems

Mumbai: After son's loss, Parents find solace in helping students deal with stress
Sunita and Sanjay Ambhore felicitate a student at the event

Even after four years of their son committing suicide at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) campus, Sunita and Sanjay Ambhore are trying their best to come to terms with his death. Aiding them in the process is a unique cause that they are furthering in the form of an organisation named after their son Aniket, to help youngsters cope with stress and mental pressure.

The main objective of Aniket Foundation is to have informal chats with Class X students of different schools, as that's the time youngsters step out of their comfort zone and decide on their career path. In a first such session held at Dnyanadeep School in Airoli on Friday, renowned psychiatrist Dr. Harish Shetty and Marathi poet Arun Mhatre spoke to about 100 students.

Channelising energy
According to the Ambhore couple, the foundation is a way of channelising their energy towards a cause that would not let any other Aniket to take such a drastic step. They plan to have about four to five such sessions at different schools every year. More so, the foundation is also trying to support NGOs working for the development of special children. Apart from conducting the session at the Airoli school, the couple also pledged to help four students from the marginalised section financially.

Arun Mhatre interacts with the students of Dnyanadeep School in Airoli
Arun Mhatre interacts with the students of Dnyanadeep School in Airoli

"It's difficult to express our loss, but the foundation is giving us peace of mind. Earlier, we were working for special children with a couple of schools, but on an individual level. The foundation is a formal platform which will help us strengthen our work," said Sunita Ambhore, a professor. She further said, "The main aim is to make youngsters realise the importance of life. We want to tell them that it's important to talk about stress, instead of keeping it inside."

Dr Harish Shetty, who gave a very inspiring talk at the session, said. "Such initiatives can bring about a change when we talk about preparing youngsters to handle stress. To tackle issues like suicide, more people have to come forward and create awareness."

Arun Mhatre, who too had a very engaging session with the students, said, "Aniket's death was a huge loss for the family. He was close to me as well. He had the heart of an artist. But it is unfortunate that he could not express whatever was going on inside, which forced him to take the drastic step. Through the foundation, we want to create awareness about expressing emotions. Unfortunately, in our society such interactions are missing, especially between parents and their wards and also among friends. We want these interactions to start, as they can help in relieving pressure."

Noble initiative
When contacted, Suresh Sankpal, chairman of Dnyanprasarak Shikshan Sanstha, which runs the school, said, "This is a very noble initiative and we are fortunate that our students were the first ones to receive such guidance. As a school, our purpose is not only to teach children, but to prepare them for life. It's extremely important to build confidence at this juncture."

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