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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

In Amritsar, men more prone to suicide: crime bureau report

Shaheen P Parshad , Hindustan Times  Amritsar , July 23, 2014
First Published: 15:46 IST(23/7/2014) | Last Updated: 15:51 IST(23/7/2014)

While women are usually at the receiving end of most crimes committed in the city, including rape, robbery, snatching and theft besides crimes affecting womenfolk, domestic problems, business challenges and emotional disturbances are likely to goad more men than women to commit suicide. The fact has been stressed upon in a recent National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report on suicides.

EARLIER CASES

While some commit suicide due to love affairs, others are known to have taken the extreme step to save their honour as in the case reported in 2004, in which five members of a family -- a man, two women and two children, all residents of Chowk Moni -- had ended their lives by consuming a poisonous substance, charging the police officials and a few others with forcing them to take the extreme step in a suicide note that they had scribbled over the walls of their house.

Last year, a B Com student of Guru Nanak Dev University, had committed suicide by hanging following a love affair.

MARGINAL DECLINE

The study, which deals with suicide data of 53 cities with a population of 10 lakh or more and features Amritsar and Ludhiana from Punjab, for 2012 and 2013, reports a decline in the suicide cases reported in 2013 as compared to the ones reported in 2012, but the drop is negligible. As per the data released by NCRB, 60 suicides were reported in 2012. A slight, but insignificant decline was seen in 2013 when 54 cases of suicide were reported in Amritsar.

MALE-FEMALE RATIO

According to Dr PD Garg, head of the psychiatry department, Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar, who manages Swami Vivekanand Drug De-addiction Centre, men dominated the suicide scene in Amritsar in 2013. “This is because men are more determined to go ahead with their decisions to take such a drastic step in the face of adversity than women,” he said.

THE DATA

Of the 54 cases reported in 2013, 37 pertained to suicides committed by men and 17 to those committed by women, the incidence being the highest in the age bracket of 30 to 44 (44.4%), 37% in the age group of 15 to 29, and 18.5% suicides were reported in the age bracket of 45 to 59. Among the 54 victims, 29.6% were self-employed, 27.8% were housewives, 5.7% were students and 3.7% were unemployed.

METHODS

Nearly 40.7% victims consumed insecticides, while 31.5%
ended their lives by hanging.

LEAST-AFFECTED

Besides children up to 14, the NCRB report cites folks aged 60 and above as least prone to committing suicides.

REASONS

Besides various domestic problems, illness causing insanity (9.3%), love affairs (7.4%) and drug abuse (3.7%) have also been cited as the reasons driving people to take the extreme step, while the failure in examinations accounts for only 1.9% suicides reported in the year 2013.

EXPERTSPEAK

“Besides family disputes, drug addiction, HIV infection, schizophrenia and psychiatric disorders too force the victims to commit or attempt suicide,” said Dr Garg. Dr Davinder Singh, professor and head, psychology department, Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), said love affairs were more a cause of suicides among students than failure in studies. “Youth in love are often scared of sharing their feelings with their parents, who often tend to mess up things by imposing their views on their children. Consequently, the children commit suicide,” he said.

According to Kanika Mehra, educational psychologist, career counsellor and cor porate trainer, counselling can play a positive role in reining in the suicidal tendencies of victims undergoing immense emotional pressure. “Counselling can help infuse positive energy and thoughts into a mentally disturbed person, thereby making them weigh other better options to end their dilemma instead of taking their own lives,” she said.

THE CHALLENGE

“Even as counselling is the best way out of such a situation, there is an alarming dearth of psychological counsellors in India. There are a total of 4,800 counsellors across the nation, which is an extremely negligible number. The government needs to focus its attention on the mental health of the public as well,” said Dr PD Garg.

OFFICIALSPEAK

“The reasons for committing suicide vary from person to person, but emotional disturbance caused by family problems and failure in business is often accounted as reasons for suicide,” said police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh. Stating that the police often found itself helpless in preventing people from committing suicide, he added that lack of information was a major challenge in probing suicide cases when these were reported.

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