Home > News > Tiffs between married couples led to 700 suicides in last decade-TOI

Tiffs between married couples led to 700 suicides in last decade-TOI

Onus on society to help those who are on the brink, says RTI activist.


Pune: Quarrels between married couples have been the primary reason for as many as 709 suicides in the city during the last decade, data obtained from Pune police through a Right To Information application has revealed.
Unemployment, the second reason, drove as many as 370 people to giving up their lives in the last ten years. Together with poverty, these reasons contributed to a 33 % rise in the number of citizens’ suicides from 2001 to 2010. The data also showed that of the 12 policemen from the Pune police who took their lives, a majority did so out of despair from physical ailments.
RTI activist Vihar Durve had sent an RTI application to the police commissioner’s office on August 4 this year, seeking the total number of citizens and policemen’s suicides from 2001, the age group and the reasons. The data was given by the public information officer of the crime branch in Pune.
The data was sought to understand the gravity of the suicides. “We had been reading about the rise in such acts and were concerned about them. The figures tell us how serious it is and how all of us, citizens and the government alike, are collectively responsible for the mental health of others,” Durve said.
 There were 5,548 suicides from 2001 to 2010 with more men (3,853) than women (1,695) taking their lives.
    Full explanations die with the victims, but in 2001, of the 484 suicides, 54 were due to poverty, a major cause. In 2010, as many as 646 people took the extreme step with a maximum number (43) resulting from clashes between husbands and wives.
    In 2003, suicides resulting from such clashes amounted to 100, while this figure shot up to 115 in 2005. The number of such suicides was 87 in 2006, 75 in 2007, 60 in 2008 and 75 in 2009. Other reasons like failure in examination that led to 11 people committing suicide in 2001 went up to 27 in 2010. Poverty led 32 people to commit suicide in
2002, 28 in 2003, 19 in 2004, 31 in 2005, 28 in 2006, 16 in 2007, 23 in 2008, 19 in 2009 and 8 in 2010.
“From 2001 to 2010, other than the suicidal deaths from clashes between husbands and wives, 258 were due to poverty, 139 from bankruptcy, 137 due to failure in examination, 121 due to problems in love affairs, 86 due to the death of a beloved, 84 due to clashes between mothers-in-law and daughtersin-law, 28 due to parting from a beloved, 20 from damage to reputation, 5 from insult, 1 from dispute over property and 3,590 due to other reasons,” said Durve.
    More men than women are calling a suicide prevention helpline. Adithy, a volunteer with Connecting, a citybased non-governmental organisation that runs one, said that 80 % of their callers are men. “Many elderly men, over the age of 60, approach us over being abandoned, problems with family members and spouses and property issues. Those in their 20s and early 30s, approach us with issues related to studying, not being able to get the right job, relationships and phobias,” she said.
    Middle-aged men seek help regarding extra-marital affairs, sexual problems, phobias related to sexual disorders. “There are more men than women callers because of social isolation. This could mean that they probably do not have the space where they can openly talk about their problems,” said Adithy.
Suicides among policemen, where ill-health was a major cause, need attention. Joint commissioner of police (law and order) Sanjeev Kumar Singhal said there were no specific exercises undertaken to address personal and other issues that policemen face. “During regular police training, stress management is dealt with. There was a counsellor to deal with their issues for three years till 2010, but this practice has been discontinued now,” he said.
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