KV Network

Arrest the trend

Arrest the trend
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Various issues confronting the society at large have attracted attention from social scientists and the people at large, but the rising number of suicides in Kashmir is being taken as a new normal with least attention being provided to control the rising menace.
Ending one’s life is considered as a gravest sin in Islam but despite this suicides in the Muslim majority region of Jammu and Kashmir have been showing an upward trend over the past many months. Though the incidence of suicides was witnessing a rise over the years but the past few months have witnessed suicides quite alarmingly.
According to figures around three hundred people have ended their lives in Jammu and Kashmir every year. 275 cases of suicide were registered in 2018, as compared to 272 cases in 2017. Similar trends were witnessed in 2019 as well. Though, the figure does not reflect cent percent accuracy as many cases go unreported as well.
Suicide, a hitherto unknown phenomenon in Kashmir till the late eighties, has consumed many lives during the past three decades. A study conducted by a former Professor of Sociology wrote in his book that 62 per cent of the suicides in the Valley involved women while men comprised 38 percent. The reason is very obvious, due the ongoing turmoil in Kashmir women have been the silent sufferers.
However, over the past few months many a young men have ended their lives prompting some to seek immediate remedial measures.
What is compelling our young generation and even some elderly as well-to take this extreme step, is a question that haunts us all. The social scientists though have tried to answer this riddle but as of now no solution to this grave issue has been found.
Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing an unprecedented spell of violence since the past three decades now. And this extra exposure to violence is considered as one of the major factors, though not the only one to lead people to take this extreme step.
What is interesting to note is that the National Crime Bureau Records (NCBR) suggests that the rate of suicides in Jammu and Kashmir is much higher than many other states in India.
The staggering figures reveal that Kashmir has a higher suicide rate at 2.1 percent than the other states of Uttar Pradesh (1.7) and Bihar (0.7). Since 1989, the rate of suicide in Kashmir has increased. Before 1989, the rate of suicide in Kashmir was 0.5 per 100,000 people. And, by 2007 it reached 20 per 100,000, double the all-India average. Most of them, around 60 per cent are the females.
The point we are missing while discussing and debating the issue is that no attention is being paid to the status of mental health care in the state, especially Kashmir. Those who are associated with mental health care have been saying that during the pre-1990 era the mental health institute in Srinagar used to witness a mild rush of patients comprising 7 to 8 patients a day.
However, as per a study on Mental Health in Kashmir by an NGO, 1.8 million (45%) adults in the Kashmir Valley have significant symptoms of mental distress, approximately 1.6 million adults (41%) in the valley are living with significant symptoms of depression, with 415,000 (10%) meeting all the diagnostic criteria for severe depression.
In this scenario, the availability of Psychiatrists and counselors is miserably low in the region. This is adding to the concerns that the rising trend of suicides needs to be arrested at an earliest.

KV Network

Kashmir Vision cover all daily updates for the newspaper

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