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DNA
31 October 2012
As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, Pune and Pimpri–Chinchwad have become infamous for the increasing number of suicides in the country. Another worrying fact the report highlights is that suicide deaths among men is over 50% more than that of women. Experts Speak Up on how social, professional and familial pressures can take a toll on men, forcing them to end their lives...

People with suicidal tendencies should seek help
It is often seen that women are less inclined to commit suicides because their thinking is more inclusive, considering not just her feelings, but also the feelings of others – her family, children, even acquaintances, and how those people will be affected by a decision like suicide. They discuss their feelings, seek feedback and take advice.

On the contrary, men directly choose the course of action and tend to throw aside seemingly peripheral issues to resolve a problem. They think less of the effect on their immediate family and how those people will be affected by a decision like suicide. They don’t feel the need to share their problems with anyone else. As the ‘breadwinner’ of the household, if men are unable to fulfil their role, it may result in low self–esteem and if the period is prolonged, it can lead to symptoms of depression. They are less likely to consult a family doctor or seek help.

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Those who are divorced are most likely to commit suicide, which could perhaps be related to the fact that depression is more common. All of these situations are stressful events and may trigger the onset of depression which, if left untreated, leads to suicide. People with suicidal tendencies should seek help and counselling to vent their emotions and negative inclinations.

–Viren Rajput, Volunteer,
Connecting NGO
Suicide methods used by men are more fatal
The recent suicide figures in the city show that not only is the trend on the rise, but also that it is more common among men than women. As per my observation, if we interpret the figures properly, the number of attempted suicides ending in death is more in men as compared to women. It is an important factor to consider.

Break–ups, financial problems and loss of near and dear ones are the most common reasons for attempting suicides among men and women. While the suicide methods used by men are lethal, women attempt suicide by cutting themselves, burning or jumping from high rises in which chances of survival are more.

The reason behind the sudden spurt in suicides in the city is the changing family structure, which is shifting towards nuclear family. Without any financial security or emotional support that a joint family offers people are more prone to depression.

Nowadays, the pattern of professional life has also changed where people work continuously and communicate less with each other. We do not get any support from society or family to vent our emotions. Another striking factor is that addicts are more prone to suicides than normal people. Over 80% of those who commit suicides suffer from some psychological issues or mental problems, which often go undiagnosed and untreated. –Dr Swapnil Deshmukh, Psychiatrist

The younger generation is fast, but it cannot handle emotional pressure well
There could be a lot of reasons for the spiralling suicide rate in the city. I feel the root of this lies in the deterioration of family as a unit and the pressure of managing a nuclear family as both the husband and the wife have to work to make ends meet.

Pune is developing very fast as compared to other cities in the country, making it a very costly place to live in. Besides, commuting to work, pollution and other pressures of city life make the city all the more conducive to increasing stress levels among people. Though the younger generation seems to be fast, tech–savvy and energetic, it does not handle emotional pressure well. Dealing with emotional pressure is learnt by living in a family structure, which is slowly disappearing. Besides, our society is patriarchal which demands a lot from the family head. The trend of rising suicides is a problem of modern society.
–Deepak Walokar, sociologist & director, Karve Institute of Social Service

Suicides are more among men as our laws are biased
Basically, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report is wrong as the data they are collecting for suicide deaths among women is filed under section 304 B of the Indian Penal Code, which only considers dowry deaths, whereas suicide deaths in men is considered as accidental death. Obviously, the rate of suicide deaths among men will be higher because laws are working against men, leaving them helpless with no option for legal help. As per our society and law, all men are treated as criminals by default in case of any offence against a woman. For example, there are so many NGOs and laws to protect women’s rights, but for men there is hardly any such support group. In case of any complaint of harassment against women, men are left to fend for themselves and are branded as criminals even before they can prove their innocence.
–Atit Rajpara, Activist, Save India Family

Men prone to suicides as they are burdened by societal pressures
If you compare the figures with the increasing population in the city and take suicide rate per 1,000, it is uncertain whether the trend to commit suicides is on the rise
or not.
There is no doubt that today’s youth earn a lot, but they go beyond their means and often get trapped in loans and EMIs. This draws them into thinking that they are slaves of an organisation.

The reason men outnumber women in committing suicides is that ours is still a patriarchal society where men are responsible for earning and providing for the whole family.
–Dr Ulhas Luktuke, Psychiatrist and Founder, Prajit Self–Help Group

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