Himachal Pradesh witnessed a shocking rise in the cases of suicides during the Covid period putting the total number of suicides during 2020-21 as per data compiled by the police department .
More than 600 suicides, 626 precisely happened in the state only during the past nine months while the earlier figures of last year’s suicides had already crossed 700 cases.
Youths, especially in the age group of 18 to 35 years, are more prone to suicides while loss of livelihoods, jobs and marriage related matters are some of the dominant factors pushing the people to end their lives.The problem is more common among the males as compared to the females.
All police stations of Himachal Pradesh, for the first time, has started recording the data of all the suicides from January 1, 2021 in register no 27 . There are some startling facts about the reasons behind the suicides, admits Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu .
The highest number of suicides,136, happened in Kangra –which is the biggest district in the state followed by Sirmaur (66), Mandi (65) and Shimla (63) and Una (60) despite being a smallest district, yet bordering Punjab.
According to Dr Atul Fulzele, Inspector General of Police, state’s CID wing has done a data analysis of the suicides cases to probe the compelling factors behind persons ,mostly youths ending their lives –few of these in a huff or without letting anyone have an inkling about their suicidal tendency .
“There are various factors and each case is different from the other ,both incase of the occupational factors, marital status or family problems .Yet , it has been found that stress and anxiety ,not alone related to the Covid ,but also family issues or financial bankruptcy has remained a dominant factor .It’s not proper to blame it on the Covid or lockdown only " he maintains.
During the period 2015-2021, the police studies have found that youths in the age of 18 to 35 years is a highly vulnerable group also followed by the young house wives ,few leaving behind small kids .The labourers facing loss of their work and unemployed persons have also taken to suicides .
Last week ,a 19-yr old youth and aspirant of forest guard committed suicide in the heart of Shimla town by hanging himself in a private rented room.A youth in Kangra live-casted his suicide in Kangra district as he was alone at home for a long period with mother working at Baddi industrial area.
Dr Sanjay Pathak, noted psychologist and Chief Executive of State Mental Health Authority admits some rise in the cases of suicides in the state during the Covid times spanning past two years but claims that economic factors ,jobs losses or family tensions are quite understandable reasons behind these suicides but some people like former CBI director Ashwani Kumar or former Chairman of HP Public Service Commission Major General (Rtd) Chander Mohan Sharma committing suicide baffles all scientific studies .
“There are psychological and sociological factor triggering a mental state of a person to commit suicide .There is a need to address this issue delicately “ he says .
Even the love affair failures among the youth also have resulted in the suicides ,either both or mainly the boy.
For the police, says the Director General of Police, the issue must be addressed at multiple levels of the state government’s health and social welfare department .
“ We have written to the state health secretary, Home secretary and secretary of the Women and Child welfare department asking them to recoganise suicide as a problem in the state and find effective solutions “ says DGP Sanjay Kundu.
Bhanu Priya Verma , a search scholar working on Covid ‘s impact on youths says “ Suicidal behaviors are often related to the feeling of anger associated with the stressful condition widely spread among people . Most importantly and not so unexpectedly, the psychological issues are bound to trigger the suicides among youths .Drug abuse is even a factor behind such cases as studies reveal"