Tamil Nadu has reported the highest number of suicides in the country in 2012, according to the recently-released Accidental Deaths and Suicides of India 2012 report of the National Crimes Record Bureau.
Last year alone, the State had accounted for 12.5 per cent of suicides in the country. With a total of 16,927 suicides, a figure that is quite disturbing, Tamil Nadu, this time around, has overtaken other suicide-prone States like Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
However, neighbouring Puducherry retains its top slot, by registering the highest rate of suicides in the country with 36.8 suicides per one lakh population.
Ironically, the top five States/UTs with the highest rates of suicides are from the South. These include Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Significantly, this is the first time in three years that TN finds itself among the top five States/Union Territories with the highest suicide rates.
While the suicide rate in the country declined by 0.1 per cent between 2011 and 2012, Tamil Nadu witnessed an alarming increase of 6 per cent. The State has a rate of 24.9 suicides per one lakh population.
Another disconcerting fact that has come out is the increasing number of child suicides in the State, which is the second highest in the country after West Bengal.
Out of the 2,738 children who took the extreme step in 2012, 331 were from Tamil Nadu. Of this, 182 were girl children.
In the case of senior citizens, TN accounted for 16.2 per cent of suicides of those aged above 60. Their total number reported in TN was 1,848.