Close on the heels of two depressed sisters subjecting themselves to months of self-deprivation, resulting in death of the elder one, a retired wing-commander committed suicide by pouring kerosene and setting himself on fire.
Suffering from depression, 68-year-old Surendra Sahni killed himself at his home in Noida’s Jalvayu Vihar in Sector 21 (A block) on Thursday.
His wife got to know about the incident only two hours later, when she went to look for him and saw his charred body in a room upstairs.
Sahni had chosen the room in which his mother used to live to immolate himself. Neighbours who gathered at the house after hearing the wife’s screams, informed the police.
Sahni had been disturbed after the death of his mother two years ago. “He had been in depression for sometime. His son, a pilot in the Air Force, was killed in a rail accident in 1986. He had vision problem as well,” said deputy superintendent of police Brijesh Kumar Srivastav.
“After his son’s death, the mother used to console Sahni. He was very close to her. Ever since she died, he had been disturbed,” said a neighbour.
Said RK Bansal, a psychiatrist: “Staying alone causes depression. The number of patients coming to me with this phenomenon has gone up by 20 to 25%.” Samir Malhotra, a doctor with Fortis hospital, said: “World Health Organisation figures suggest that one out of every 10 Indian men and one out of every four Indian women suffer from depression.”
Doctors said a shift from joint family to nuclear family was taking a toll on mental health.