Sanjeev Kumar Patro

News Highlights

  • Kerala, which was sitting at the top during the last decade had come down to 9th place in 2020; whereas Odisha perched at the top in 2020 from 13th in 2018. The State moved to second place in the country in 2019.

Even as the Gen Z in Odisha lives in the hype and hoopla of 'status sharing' on the social media platforms (Facebook, Whatsapp etc), the one big happy family in the State seems to be exploding in a big way.

Suicides due to family problems in Odisha are now accounting for 81 per cent of total suicides in the State. As a consequence, Odisha perches at the dubious numero one spot in the country.

As per the NCRB 2020 report on Accidental Deaths and Suicides in the country, a massive 4501 suicides of a total of 5546  in Odisha had been due to family problems in 2020. The suicide pie due to family problems in the State had been 81.4 per cent vis-a-vis the national average of 3.6 per cent of total suicides.

The pandemic hit year saw an over 62 per cent rise in suicides triggered by family problems in the State. Psychologists blame it on lockdown and pandemics.

"The first-ever pandemic in recent decades and subsequent lockdown had resulted in multiple physiological issues. Suicide is just an outcome of that mental illness,” said Dr Amrit Pattajoshi, Psycholigst.

Is A Larger Problem Lurking?    

The NCRB data since 2010 reveals that family problem triggered suicide had the largest share of over 20 per cent in total suicides in the country.  While the share of Odisha was 20.7 per cent in 2010, the national average was 23.7 per cent.

In 2015, the national average moved up to touch  27.72 per cent; whereas the share in Odisha inched up to touch 25.7 per cent

In 2018,  the pie of family problem triggered suicides in Odisha increased to 31.7 per cent vis-a-vis the national average of 30.4 per cent.

The above numbers show in 2018, family problems triggered suicides in Odisha overshot the national average. And no looking back since then. Rather, it became a menace in 2019.

In the year 2019, suicides due to family problems in Odisha took a share of 60.7 per cent of total suicides in the State. And there were no signs of pandemic then. But the national average had been 32.4 per cent. Odisha rose to dubious number 2 in the country from 13th in 2018.

And in the pandemic-hit year, the total suicides due to the family problems in Odisha touched a whopping 4501 and it accounted for 81.2 per cent of total suicides last year; whereas the national average stood at 33.6 per cent.  

Kerala, which was sitting at the top during the last decade had come down to 9th place in 2020; whereas Odisha perched at the top in 2020 from 13th in 2018. The State moved to second place in the country in 2019.

The pandemic impact was higher in Kerala and Maharashtra, but family problem triggered suicides hovered in the range of 33 - 42 per cent as against the national average of 33.6 per cent.

The big inference here is the family relationship in Odisha have attained an explosive state, which doesn't bode well.

The Gender Divide

In this family battle led to suicides, men bear the brunt. While 3311 men took the extreme step due to family problems, 1195 women had abruptly ended their lives.

"This is purely due to faultlines in a new-age relationship. The current upbringing pattern seeds frustration, intolerance, impulsivity, emotionally unstable traits that wrecks the traditional relationship in our society. The rise of nuclear families acerbates the fissures," said Dr Pattajoshi.

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