MYSURU: The burden of poverty and financial distress due to Covid-19 has driven many persons to suicide. On Saturday, a 20-year-old Mysuru woman ended her life while a week ago, two brothers, both in their 20s, resorted to the extreme step at Kattemanuganahalli in HD Kote taluk of Mysuru. The brothers were reportedly in depression due to unemployment. A few months back, a four-member family died in a suicide pact at H Mookahalli due to financial distress in Chamarajanagar.
These are just a few among many such disturbing suicide cases reported in the state in the recent past.
Poverty, financial distress, unemployment, and loss in business are some of the major reasons behind these cases.
While the Karnataka government takes pride in being able to vaccinate a large section of the population, the issue of financial distress and poverty pushing people to resort to the extreme step is still unanswered. Suicides are being reported on a daily basis owing to these reasons across the state.
While data from the Karnataka State Police reveals that over 850 suicide and attempt to suicide cases have been reported at various police station limits during March 2020 (when the state saw its first Covid-19 case) and May 2021, experts and activists point out such cases are highly under-reported in rural areas of the state.
The police data reveals that of the total 850 cases, 10 were related to dowry and over 373 were marked as abetment to suicide, 344 for other reasons including poverty and financial distress. In addition to this, over 123 attempt to suicide cases has been reported under relevant section at various police stations.
Experts point out that the slump in the economy had a great impact on people's mental health. Change in lifestyle and inability to compromise on it and running behind materialistic comforts are also a few other reasons, they say.
"When the standard of living gets dropped, people struggle to cope up with it and try to resort to extreme steps. People are now becoming more rigid and are not flexible. Nuclear families, no fear for debt, more dependency, and running behind materialistic comforts are also major reasons," says Dr B N Raveesh, professor and head, department of psychiatry, Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMC&RI).
(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 (available 24x7) or iCall, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' helpline - 02225521111, which is available Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm.)