Pradeep Pattanayak

At a time when 'World Suicide Prevention Day is being observed across the globe today, the increasing cases of suicides in Odisha have been a matter of great concern. 

The gravity of the situation came to the fore after the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently published its report. 

The report claims on average per day over 15 people are ending their lives. According to the recently published accidental deaths and suicides in India-2021 report of the NCRB, a total of 5,651 persons in Odisha ended their lives in 2021. In 2020, the number stood at 5,546.

Of the total 5,651 suicidal cases reported in 2021, more males than females took the extreme step. While a total of 4,412 males ended their lives in 2021, the number of females who killed self was 1,239. 

If the reasons behind such cases are taken into consideration, a total of 4,033 persons ended their lives due to family problems, 135 due to failure in examinations, 134 because of marriage-related problems, 132 over love affairs, and 13 persons killed selves over extra-marital affairs. 

In Bhubaneswar alone, 310 persons committed suicide in 2020 and the number slightly dipped in 2021. It was 282. 

According to social activist Sunita Tripathi, social media has a role in it. “We are coming across the incidents that adolescents are wasting their parents’ money on games and they, out of fear, are forced to take the extreme step,” she said. 

Dr Subhendra Narayan Mishra, a psychiatrist, said, “If someone is found to have been writing negative thoughts on social media platforms and not associating with others, and if they are found getting irritated without any valid reasons, immediately consult a psychiatrist, psychiatrist social worker or clinical psychologist.”

When asked, HOD, psychology department, Fakir Mohan University, Balasore said, “Parents are not giving enough time to their children. As a result, they live in a virtual world. This is one of the reasons.”