Poverty and Suicide

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Let us not get distracted by the obviousness of the traditional factors. Abject poverty, lack of education, and a frightful inequality have been addressed and adored as historical truths, peculiar to our religious and social proclivity. After all, India at the end of the day is one of the few places on earth where warmth, luxury and comfort can sleep hand in hand with cold, starvation and poverty.

However beneath the veneer of such ‘set in gold’ theories, lies a different cause, deserted and shunned…an abandoned child, or worse, an infidel fact that must not be discussed. But before that some statistics to measure the terrifying facts. Analysis of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (subsequently published by the British Medical Journal) reveal a whopping 126 percent rise in suicides among Indian women across the period from 1990 to 2010. A Lancet article estimated that there were 187,000 suicides among over 15s in 2010. The horrifying statistics speak a different story though. According to the study 40 percent of those suicides among men and 56 percent among women occurred between the ages of 15 and 29, and the rates were higher among well-educated young people in wealthier populations. Now this should come as a smack on the faces of those pundits who have held economy as the prime cause of such reckless end of lives. A far more sinister, coal mine deep reason clogs our society. Our deplorable mental health. Numbers again. According to a study conducted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, just 24 percent of people with mental disorders ad 28 percent with post –traumatic stress disorders get treatment, as opposed to 91 percent of people with high blood pressure Let us get the perspectives right. No one doubts the economic reasons behind the explosive number of suicides by the farmers. None doubts the screaming social determinants of marital violence, rape and caste related bigotries behind feminine suicides. Yet...
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