Skip to main content

Women's suicide rate in Gujarat, two other states rises, as India's goes down by 23%: Wither UN's SDG targets?

By Rajiv Shah
In an important revelation, a recent study in one of the world’s most renowned health research journals, “Lancet”, has found that “model” Gujarat is one of the three states where the Suicide Death Rate (SDR) among women has gone up. The other two major states, whose women’s SDR has shown an upward trend during the 26-years study – 1990 to 2016 – period are Bihar and Rajasthan.
Pointing out that between 1990 and 2016 women’s SDR has increased by 4.1%, the data in the journal show that crude SDR for women in Gujarat 1990 was 15.4 per 100,000, which reached 16.0 per 100,000. The data is significant, because all other states but these three witnessed a sharp fall in women’s SDR.
What is equally significant is that, women’s all-India SDR stood at 19.4 per 100,000 in 1990, which was above that of Gujarat. However, in 2016, things turned topsy-turvy: The all-India women’s SDR in 2016 was 14.9 per 100,000, much lower than that of Gujarat, 16.0. Overall, India experienced a whopping fall of 23.5% in women's SDR during the period under study, as against 4.1% rise of India.
Importantly, there are only major five states whose women’s SDR is found to be higher that of Gujarat – these are Tamil Nadu 26.9, West Bengal 22.1, Karnataka 25.1, Andhra Pradesh 21.0, and Telangana 19.8. The women’s SDR in these states remains high despite a fall experienced in the 26 years in each of these states, the data show.
Also, though in Bihar women’s SDR experienced a sharp rise of 13.5%, it continued to be way below that of Gujarat, just about 6.2 per 100,000 in 2016, up from 5.1 in 1990. Similarly, while Rajasthan’s women’s SDR rose by 10.4% during the period under study, its SDR for 2016 was way below that of Gujarat, 8.3, up from 7.6 in 1990.
The “Lancet” study, which has already created ripples across India, says that “suicide deaths in India increased from 164,404 in 1990 to 230,314 in 2016, an increase of 40.1%”, adding, “In 2016, India had 1,316 million (17.8%) of the global population, but its contribution to suicides increased to 94 380 (36.6%) of the 257,624 global suicide deaths among women and 135,934 (24.3%) of the 559,523 global suicide deaths among men.”
Pointing out that “the levels of urbanisation, proportion of literate population, and difference in literacy attainment between men and women have been suggested as reasons for the variations in suicide deaths at the state level in India”, the study says, “The nearly three times higher SDR observed in women in India as compared with the rate expected globally for geographies at similar levels of Socio-Demographic Index highlights the particular need to better understand the determinants of suicides among women in India.”
Probability of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2030 targets in reducing suicides
It underlines, “Married women account for the highest proportion of suicide deaths among women in India. Marriage is known to be less protective against suicide for women because of arranged and early marriage, young motherhood, low social status, domestic violence, and economic dependence”.
Stating that “India accounted for one-third of the global child marriages in 2014”, the study says, “One pronounced finding is that despite a reduction in SDR between 1990 and 2016 in younger women, the SDR among them continues to remain high. Recently, high suicide deaths in adolescent girls have gained attention, with suicides having surpassed maternal mortality as the leading cause of death globally.”
Insisting that “disproportionately high suicide deaths in India are a public health crisis”, the study regrets, India’s policy makers have done “very little thus far for suicide prevention in India, and the projections for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 target are dismal, with the majority of the states having less than 10% probability of reaching the SDG target.”

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Election Commission suffering from worst-ever "credibility crisis": Ex-bureaucrats

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of ex-bureaucrats have lamented ‘weak-kneed’ responses of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Citing various violations of the model code of conduct, and pointing towards how ECI has taken little action, the letter asks the President to tell ECI to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned.”