NEW DELHI: From young to old, at least eight cases of suicides at Delhi Metro stations have been reported in the past five months, with five of these occurring in September alone.
Besides, seven other people attempted suicide between April and October 9, some of whom were battling depression.
On World Mental Health Day on Thursday, doctors said many people choose getting hit by metro trains to kill themselves as it allows them to die with "minimal pain" and the "chances of survivability is almost none".
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According to the WHO website, every 40 seconds someone loses their life to suicide, and so the theme this year is "working together to prevent suicide".
One of the first suicide cases was reported on May 1 when a civic agency worker allegedly killed himself by jumping in front of a metro train at the Dwarka Sector 9 station on the Blue Line.
In June, a 23-year-old man, who was undergoing treatment for depression for the last two years, had allegedly committed suicide by jumping in front of a moving Delhi Metro train at the Civil Lines station here, according to police.
In the first week of August, three suicide attempts were reported by police, including by a mentally unstable 31-year-old woman at the Inderlok metro station.
However, as per recorded cases, September saw the maximum cases of suicide, three in the first week and rest two on September 11 and 16.
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According to Dr Rajeev Mehta, Consultant Psychiatrist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, impulsive suicides are "only about five per cent" and the rest are planned by the person committing it after contemplating it over a period of time.
"Depression is the major reason that drives people to commit suicide. If the person is intent on killing himself or herself they take such methods of killing themselves as the lethality is ensured and pain is minimal, like in metro train, whose speed can kill almost instantly," he said.
Mehta said such suicides are mostly committed by youths or old people, both men or women living alone and battling depression.
Delhi Metro authorities have taken cognisance of these suicide cases taking place in the past few months and had started a campaign '#NeverGiveUp' in April to raise awareness about sound mental health.
"As part of our ongoing campaign we have been raising awareness on mental health issues so that people do not take the extreme step and instead soldier on in their life even during tough times," a senior DMRC official said.
The DMRC is also using its official Twitter handle to inspire and encourage people to never give up in life in difficult times by posting periodic tweets in an interesting manner.
"Presently, PSDs (platform screen doors) are installed at all stations of Phase-III network on Pink and Magenta Line whereas, PSDS were also retrofitted at old busy stations of Kashmere Gate, Rajiv Chowk, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Chawari Bazar and Central Secretariat. Primarily, PSDs are meant for crowd control but they act as deterrent also for suicides," the official said.
DMRC frontline staff (those sitting at customer care and manning the stations) have been sensitised to identify and keep a vigil on any person in a depressed state or having prolonged stay in metro premises and guide them for necessary assistance.
CISF people posted at stations also keep a vigil, he said.
A senior CISF official said after so many cases being reported in quick succession "we have also asked our team to be alert at stations and CCTV footage is being monitored to see if anyone is loitering at a platform corner or spending unduly longer time".
The DMRC has also put up barriers on the platforms marking the area beyond which passengers are not allowed to go.
The DMRC on Thursday also appealed to all passengers to "help in curtailing this tendency".
"All passengers are requested to be alert at the platform when metro trains are approaching and stop any fellow passenger who attempts to cross the yellow line before the train comes to a complete halt," the official said.
The latest incident was reported on Wednesday, when a man in his 50s, who was undergoing treatment for depression, got injured after he allegedly attempted suicide by jumping in front of a moving train at the Uttam Nagar East station on the Delhi Metro's Blue Line, police said.
According to Dr Amulya Seth, Consultant Psychiatrist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad, in today's time "there is a fall in tolerance level among the youth and too much of exposure in the form of social networking sites".
"Also, due to peer pressure and lack of motivation leads to depression," he said.
Asked why people are using metro stations for committing suicide, the doctor said, it is because "people find it easy".