Three state universities are on with a survey of suicides between 2011 and 2015 to find out how many were the consequence of debt burden.
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Ludhiana; Punjabi University, Patiala; and Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar, have divided regions to cover. Sukhpal Singh, head of the PAU department of economics and sociology, who is playing a major role in the survey, said earlier the state government wanted the figures only up to 2013 but the catastrophe in the cotton belt of Malwa belt forced it to extend the study period. “The report will mention even other reasons behind suicide,” he added.
“It’ll be a census-like survey, first of its kind and covering every household. Sample surveys cover just the village sarpanch usually.” Each of the three universities has, so far, received a grant of Rs 10 lakh for the survey. Earlier, the institutions studied suicides between 2000 and March 2011 and they each got Rs 30 lakh for it. They found out that of the 6,926 suicides on farms, 4,686 were related to debt.
Punjabi University economics department head Inderjit Singh and GNDU registrar and former economics department head Sharanjit Singh Dhillon will also mentor the survey team.
Division of areas
Punjabi University: Fatehgarh Sahib, Mohali, Faridkot, Muktsar, Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Patiala
GNDU: Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ferozepur, Fazilka, Pathankot, Kapurthala, Gurdaspur, Nawanshahr
PAU: Moga, Ludhiana, Jagraon, Barnala, Bathinda, Sangrur, Mansa