Chennai, Bengaluru continue to be suicide capitals

Chennai and Bengaluru have once again retained the dubious distinction of being the suicide capitals in the country even as country’s metro cities recorded a minor increase in incidents of people taking their own lives.

While Chennai has reported a slight increase, suicides in Bengaluru, Delhi and Chennai have shown a drop.

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According to ‘Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2015’ publicised last week, 53 metro cities, which have a population of more than 10 lakh, reported 19,665 suicides in the country as against 19,597 in 2014.

“The numbers of suicides in 53 mega cities show mixed trend during 2012 to 2015. It shows an increasing trend from 2012 (19,120) to 2013 (21,313). However, a decline of 8.1% is seen in 2014 over 2013. A steep rise of 11.5% was observed in 2013 over 2012,” the report said.

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** 15 Suicides took place every one hour in 2015

** 1,33,623 people committed suicide in 2015

** Maximum suicides in Maharashtra (16,970), Tamil Nadu (15,777), West Bengal (14,602)

** Suicide rate in cities (12.2) was higher than all-India suicide rate (10.6)

** 1 suicide out of every 6 suicides was committed by a housewife

** 70.5% of male victims married, 67.3% of female victims married

** 70% victims were earning income of less than Rs1 lakh

** 25% of victims belong to income group Rs 1-5 lakh

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An analysis of the figures showed that Chennai had the highest incidents of 2,274 suicides in 2015 as against 2,214 in 2014, a 2.7% increase.

However, suicides in Bengaluru had a 2.7 decline — from 1906 to 1855 while Delhi had 1,553, down from 1,847, which a decrease of 15.9%. Mumbai, which is fourth in the table, had 1,122 suicides, a decrease of 6.2%

The IT capital Bengaluru (87) and financial capital Mumbai (86), where a number of people migrate for jobs, recorded the highest number of suicides due to unemployment. Only Bhopal was ahead of these cities with 173 suicides due to joblessness. Meerut (86) and Pune (83) were other toppers while Chennai had 41 and Delhi 19 such cases.

According to the report, family problem (other than marriage related issues) was the major cause of suicide in cities, accounting for 34% (6,682) followed by ‘illness’ at 17.2% (3,379). However, 1,019 victims have committed suicides in cities due to ‘marriage Related Issues’ accounting for 5.2% of total suicides in the cities.

While Chennai had the highest number (870) of suicides due to family problems, Bengaluru was a close second at 815. Those who committed suicide due to illness was also high Chennai (448) and Bengaluru (229).

In these four cities, 186 people committed suicide due to bankruptcy while another 146 took their own life due to unemployment and 21 due to poverty. Chennai had 154 suicides due to bankruptcy while Bengaluru had 21, Mumbai 6 and Delhi 5.

Bengaluru also topped the list among the four cities in love affairs related suicide at 73 followed by Chennai (61), Delhi (39) and Mumbai (30).

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Jan 9, 2016)

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