7 suicides in Delhi every day in 2018, relationship issues biggest reason: NCRB data
The NCRB analysed all suicide cases in Delhi and were able to point out the broad reasons for the extreme steps in roughly 66% of them.Updated: Jan 20, 2020 09:10 IST
In 2018, seven persons killed themselves every day in the Capital outstripping deaths due to road accidents, according to data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Most people killed themselves over troubled relationships, calling into question society’s preparedness in dealing with such cases.
There were 2,526 cases of suicides in Delhi, a figure that does not capture the number of attempts to suicide cases.
The NCRB analysed all suicide cases in the Capital and were able to point out the broad reasons for the extreme steps in roughly 66% of them.
Relationships and illnesses
The findings reveal that 456, or 27%, of cases in which the reasons were identified, rocky “relationships” played a major role. These included 334 cases of “marriage-related” issues, 56 instances of “non-settlement of a marriage”, eight instances of “divorce” and 14 cases of “extramarital or illicit relationships”. “Family problems” formed the basis of 787 cases.
Dowry demands and dowry-related allegations led to another 52 women and six men killing themselves, respectively.
Rajat Mitra, a clinical psychologist said, “In today’s times, relationships end faster than they used to earlier. The people involved feel there is little hope for it working out.”
Illnesses — prolonged, terminal or mental — was the primary reason in 218 cases. In 18 such cases, mental illness was directly deemed to be the reason. “As long as patients harbour the hope of recovery, they live on. Suicides happen when some of them feel that they have no option,” said Mitra.
Impotency, drugs, jobs, exams
There were 10 instances of suicide which were attributed to infertility or impotence and all of them were women.
“This is because of the wrong belief in which a woman’s primary identity is of a mother. Our society shames women if they are not able to conceive. Men do not face that shame,” said Mitra.
There were also 62 cases of drug abuse or alcohol addiction. The NCRB found them all to be men.
In 98 case, people killed themselves over unemployment, and 30 more due to “poverty”.
A total of 44 students killed themselves due to failure in exams.
Mitra said he wasn’t surprised. “Recently, I met a class 12 girl with suicidal tendencies. She had scored 89%, but her father said that he was trying to ‘motivate’ her by saying that anything less than 90% was failure. Student need to realise that these marks are not the end of the world,” he said.
The economic profiles of the suicide victims showed that 57% of the individuals earned less than Rs 1 lakh annually.
“The financial status of a person can’t be directly linked to a suicide, but many people end up killing themselves when they feel that they couldn’t get rid of poverty despite trying,” said Mitra.
Nearly 42% of all victims had studied only till class 10. Nearly 90% (2,256) of the suicide victims had studied up to only class 12. These included 122 people with no formal education and 1,065 who were schooled till class 12.
Over 70% of the victims (1,779) were men.
Around 75% of suicide cases were by hanging. “It is thought to be the most common but people don’t realise that most of these hangings, or even other methods, fail to kill and leave people with other injuries, which many times last for life,” he said.
A study by the American Association of Suicidology shows that only one in every 25 suicide attempts in the US ended in death.
Consuming poison was the second most preferred method with 10% of all victims choosing it. There were also 11 instances each of people killing themselves by touching live wires and drowning themselves.
A senior Delhi Police officer said that when they come across survivors of suicide attempts, they counsel them and their close ones. “Suicidal thoughts are temporary. Talking about it reduces the intensity or such thoughts,” said the officer.