A study conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Tiss) on stress among city students has found that among children below 14 years, girls are more vulnerable to suicides.
The report’s analysis of recent suicide statistics (from the National Crime Records Bureau) suggests that while men have a higher rate of suicide compared to women, in the under 14 years age group, more girls compared to boys have committed suicide.
For instance, in 2009, in Maharashtra in the 15 to 29 years age group, 2,387 girls committed suicide compared to 2,901 boys. However, in the younger age group (under 14 years) 55 girls committed suicide compared to 48 boys in the same year.
“This indicates that young girls under the age of 14 years are either highly stressed in comparison to their male counterparts or are unable to cope with the stress,” said the report, while suggesting that further research was required in the area.
“Boys just have that chilled out attitude, it just happens, girls just don’t have it,” said Dristi Jain, 15, a college student.
The study report, which was submitted to the government last week, has recommended that the state government should develop a policy to prevent student suicides and make it mandatory for all schools to adopt it.
It recommends that all schools should have counsellors whom students can approach for their problems. “It is expensive for a school to have a full-time counsellor, but it is important to have someone for students to talk to,” said Katy Gandevia, a professor at Tiss Centre for Health and Mental Health.
“Children felt burdened under the expectations of their parents,” said the report. “During the interviews with the stakeholders, many identified family as the key source of stress. The stress from family might not be direct, but it can indirectly also cause a lot of friction in a student’s life.”