According to a report of National Crime Records Bureau there were more than 70,000 known cases of suicide every year in India. In 1980 there were 41,663 cases. They grew to 73,911 in 1990 and are during expected to be more than one lakh the first decade of the century.
According to a report of National Crime Records Bureau there were more than 70,000 known cases of suicide every year in India. In 1980 there were 41,663 cases. They grew to 73,911 in 1990 and are during expected to be more than one lakh the first decade of the century. It means one every seven and a half minutes in 1990 and 5 minutes in 1994.
Andre Beteille, a Sociologist concluded that there are suicides whenever there is a sudden change in economic status. A sudden fall in economic status may result in a suicide. But a sudden improvement also causes it. Someone who is a bit left behind in the race gets frustrated leading to suicide.
Rajesh Sinha feels that with increasing population and urbanization money has become very important for survival. If there is insufficient money the game ends with life itself. In mid nineties twelve families were driven to suicide in Delhi alone because of financial problem.
According to a Sociologist the crumbling of joint family system takes the check away. People, out of family have no psychological or emotional support. In the moments of tension such individuals cannot cope with it. They can’t face the competitive set up of the society and decide to ‘reject life itself.’ Sometimes they kill the whole family before killing themselves.
On the other hand the daily abrasions of life in a joint family also tell on the psyche of men and women alike. Sometimes they cooperate to commit suicide. In Kanpur three sisters hanged themselves on ceiling fans to save their father from expected dowry demands.
Frustration in love is another cause of suicide. In the modern advanced society love beyond the caste limits and without the knowledge of parents is a common thing. If the parents come in the way it may be a doomsday for the lovers.
Actors and actresses have been no exception to it. The suicide may also be caused by tyrannical or indecent approaches of a boss. Last, but not the least cause of suicide is failure or expected failure in the examination. In late 90s a social phenomenon—The Mandal declaration caused a large number of suicides.
In the first week of February, 1994 a young man got frustrated on India singing the GATT Treaty and committed suicide. The most alarming cases of suicide were noticed throughout India in 1993-94 because of craze for and disappointment for not securing a lottery prize. It came to an extent that Delhites burnt an effigy of lottery and efforts were going on to stop lotteries. A large number of farmers committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka be cause of failure of crops.
The family and the government have not been able to check the rising trend of suicides that rose to 8 per cent in nineties. The family members of the dead as well as the government itself have not been able to find a way out. Some NGOs (Non Government Organizations) have made a breakthrough in the spree of suicides.
The initiative was taken by Lakshmi Vijaykumar, a psychiatrist from Madras. He came across ‘Samaritans’ and organization for the same purpose in Great Britain. ‘Sneha’ an organization was started. Its aim was suicide prevention. It is an autonomous body affiliated to ‘Befrienders International’. The organization is manned by about 50 volunteers. They devote 4 hours in a week and the Madras centre of Sneha remains open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on all days.
The volunteers, according to Mallika Gulvady, are students, professionals, retired hands—both men and women. They propose to be available round the clock. The volunteers do not give any advice. They are the listeners of those who speak too much and initiators for those who won’t speak or break down. They befriend the frustrated people and open their bag of sympathy. There are regular advertisements that draw people to ‘Sneha’.
The volunteers should be over 21, able to speak Tamil, willing to spare four hours at a stretch each week for at least one year. They shouldn’t have emotional stress themselves. Sharda Subbaraman, Secretary of ‘Sneha’ says the number of suicide attempts is many times more than what is reported. For each suicide that is reported, she says, two are hushed up and seven unsuccessful attempts made.
The novel work has succeeded in turning a large number of people in a balanced state of mind. In early nineties as many as ‘5239’ people in distress contacted Sneha’. “Following increasing awareness about suicide prevention steps, under the banner of ‘Befrienders India’ three more organizations have come up—’Sumaitri’ in New Delhi, ‘Sahaya’ in Hyderabad and ‘Maitrayi’ in Pondicherry. Their funds come from donations and a “greeting card scheme”. It is expected people in other states too will have NGOs to take up job in their states.