As I scrolled through Google last evening after work, a headline made me stop and re-read it. Suchana Seth’s images were flashed across the media and within hours this was the most trending news on Twitter and Instagram.
About The Suchana Seth- Child Murder Case
Suchana Seth, was on the 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics List in 2021 and has been a fellow (2017-18) and affiliate (2018-19) at the Berkman Klein Centre at Harvard University. She is the founder of The Mindful AI Lab, a technical consultancy , based in Bengaluru, India.
From news reports that are floating on all websites and news channels, it is claimed that Seth was under pressure to stop her estranged husband from seeing her son as they battle an impending divorce. She is said to have made an impromptu decision to take a cab from Goa back to Bengaluru and left the hotel at night. When the hotel apartment staff went to clean the room later, they saw blood stains and informed the police. They also informed that her son wasn’t accompanying her when she left.
She was eventually tracked down and arrested en route to Bengaluru with a bag that had the mortal remains of her 4-year-old child. As we read this, it leaves us, parents, in a wave of shock and disbelief.
In the midst of this sorrow, we can’t help but ask the poignant question – WHY? Why would a mother resort to such an unthinkable act against her own flesh and blood? What series of events led her down this harrowing path, and how did our society fail to intervene?
In the year 2024, with an abundance of information at our fingertips, the silence around mental health is both baffling and concerning. It’s time to break the silence, foster understanding, and offer support to those who may be silently battling their demons.
Parents responded with all emotions to this question we raised on our Instagram handle. Some were shocked, some were angry and some questioned the fundamental lack of mental health support and guidance that the fraternity lacks terribly today. The common notion is how are we getting so intolerant as a society today? What is driving us to these horrifying acts?
The Support The Fraternity Needs From Within
It isn’t enough if we share news items or scream from rooftops about the support women need from society. The onus is on every one of us in the parenting community to lend a helping hand to someone in need. You don’t have to be personally involved with the domestic crisis or feuds or pressures in each household- that’s not what the community needs. But to lend a helping hand, a patient ear to those who may need it is what the community will benefit from.
Know of a young mom balancing work and home and raising kids- ask her how she’s doing. Not just “How are your kids?” But ask about her. Find out how she is doing- physically and mentally.
Instead of being judgemental about moms and their choices- accept them for who they are. We are facing enough demons as is- don’t add to that list with your eye rolls and judgments.
If it is someone you know very well- in your family and friends circle- offer to give them some time off, when you sense burnout. Could be hosting a playdate in your house, so the mom has some time off, or inviting her for a cup of tea/coffee while the kids have some fun.
Lend a patient ear when someone turns to you for problems. Instead of doling out medical advice, guide them to professional help from mental health counsellors and experts. The awareness around mental health needs to be loud and profound as much as it is for physical health.