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

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Dalit, Adivasi protest in Jharkhand against 'illegal' transfer of land for development

By Rishit Neogi Displacement and eviction are not new terms. It is surprising that they are still continuing and have become a tool in the hands of state backed corporates to forcibly occupy lands in the name of development.