15 suicides took place every hour in India in 2014: NCRB data


Shamim Zakaria

Latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) suggests that an average of 15 suicides took place every hour in India in 2014.

The NCRB data further revealed that across India, the total number of suicides that took place in 2014 were 1,31,666. In 2013, there were 1,34,799 incidents of suicide in India. Also, while Maharashtra with 16,307 cases has the highest rate of suicide in the entire country, it is closely followed by Tamil Nadu and West Bengal with 16,122 and 14,310 suicide cases respectively.

Throwing light on the reason for this ‘excessive’ suicidal tendency, noted Guwahati-based psychiatrist Dr. Jayanta Das said, “90 percent of suicides take place due to mental health problems and out of those 65 percent are due to depression. The remaining take place due to certain other psychiatric disorders.”

Meanwhile, the state of Assam was found as having the highest rate of suicide within the entire north-eastern part of India. Out of 4,986 suicide cases registered in northeast in 2014, 3,546 cases were from Assam.

Though Assam saw a slight depletion in the overall number of suicide cases as compared to 5,233 in 2013, the data suggests Manipur recorded the highest percentage increase of 35.1 (from 37 in 2013 to 50 in 2014) followed by Sikkim with 32.6 per cent (from 184 in 2013 to 244 in 2014).

Dr. Das said apart from depression, schizophreniam bi-polar disorder and personality disorder could be counted as the other causes behind suicide.

Gender-related factors in measuring suicide

Taking a male-female account of the 4,986 suicides in the northeastern region, 3,488 involved males. NCRB data further elicits that on a national scale, the overall male:female ratio of suicide victims for the year 2014 was 68:32.

The proportion of boy:girl suicide victims (below 18 years of age) was 51:49. “One suicide out of every six suicides was committed by a housewife, and nearly 67 per cent of the male victims were married while 63.6 per cent of female victims were married,” the data added.

NCRB attributes failure in examination, physical ailment, family problems and marriage-related problems as the specific reasons behind suicide. Meanwhile, in 958 cases in Assam, the cause of suicide was termed as ‘unknown’.