“20 students killed themselves every day in 2010”
Data says, suicide death rates in India are among the highest in the world. The suicide rate per 1,00,000 is more than 10. Our rapidly developing country seems to also have a rapidly developing suicide rate over the years. And our minds instantly go towards the numerous farmer suicide cases that we hear and read about day after day. What not many people realise is that the statistics say something different and very, very disturbing.
“95-100 people commit suicide in India every day. And of these a whopping 40% are in the adolescent age group” [Source: CNN-IBN Report, Jan 13 2010]
“Student suicides have increased 26% from 2006 to 2010”
An article in The Lancet published in June 2012 says suicide rates are highest in the 15-29 age group. Among men, 40 per cent of suicides were among people age 15-29. For women, it was nearly 60 per cent.
These numbers say that the likelihood of committing suicide is comparable to that of being in, say, traffic accidents. As a statistics major I know that while the latter is a result of random variables, the former…not so much.
And you don’t need to be a statistics major to see how disturbingly ridiculous this is. And these are just the official records…
Mental health is not a priority in our country. Seeking psychiatric help is considered to be the number one reason to shun a person. Our country has a stupid and dangerous obsession with academic brilliance. It doesn’t matter whether you like physics or chemistry, you have to score a 95%! What use are you of if you didn’t get into the IITs or IIMs or AIIMS?
What these numbers won’t tell you is the magnitude of despair. The despair felt by that boy or girl when they suddenly feel that there is nothing left to do. The despair driving them to kill themselves.
And a number of people will come to me and tell me how so many of them do it for the ‘publicity’, for their shallow self-interests. Really? 20 students per day? And a rate that does nothing but increase?
When my friend killed himself a year ago, he became part of that statistic. But to me he was not just “one of those is 7379”, he was not merely a number that failed to interpret his despair.
To me he was a set of dreams and passions, imagination and innovation, kind deeds and a large, warm heart, which was lost to the world.