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10,000 student suicides in 2018, highest in 10 yrs | Press24-India News


BENGALURU: Twenty-eight students on an average committed suicide every 24 hours during 2018, the highest in a decade in which India lost nearly 82,000 of them, according to a National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data analysis. Of the 81,758 students who committed suicide from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2018, 57% killed themselves in the past five years, including 10,159 in 2018, the data revealed. Overall, India saw 1.3 lakh suicides in 2018, of which students made up for 8%, almost the same as those involved in the farming sector, while 10% of them were unemployed people. A quarter of the student suicides in 2018 were because of “failure in exams”. Experts said causes ranged from drugs to depression, to broken families and breakups. While psychologists say clinical depression, schizophrenia and other mental health issues and addiction to drugs and alcohol are the three most common reasons, sociologists and rights activists call it a psycho-social problem. Sociologist Samata Deshmane pointed out that people, especially students, are finding it difficult to cope with the transformation in society. Arguing that human beings are “social animals”, she said, “But today, we are less social and more individualists.” State-wise analysis of student suicides in 2018 shows that just five of them – Maharashtra (1,448), Tamil Nadu (953), Madhya Pradesh (862), Karnataka (755) and West Bengal (609) – account for 45%, or 4,627 cases. Between 2014 and 2018, the same five states, along with Chhattisgarh in two years, have accounted for the highest number of cases. Child Rights Trust director Nagasimha G Rao argues that students, especially those over the age of 10, don’t have avenues to vent, which makes it difficult to manage stress. Dr M S Dharmendra, consultant psychiatrist, Manasa Neuropsychiatric Hospital, had earlier told TOI there are multiple factors, including sociological, psychological and biological factors. “It all depends on how they are able to handle stress, how they perceive a situation. There are biological factors too as we are all born with certain predispositions to depression,” he said. Our genetic makeup gives us some vulnerability to depression. Some have low vulnerability and in a few others it may be high,” he said.

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