According to a recent report by the Government of India’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 22,372 housewives committed suicide in India last year.
On an average, the number of suicides per day stands at 61. And every minute, a housewife commits suicide.
Of the 153,052 suicides recorded in India in 2020, housewives accounted for 14.7% and more than 50% of the total women who committed suicide.
This is not an exceptional figure in India. The NCRB has been collecting suicide data in the country since 1998.
Since then, more than 20,000 housewives have committed suicide in India every year. In 2009 this number increased to 25,092.
The report always blames family problems or marital problems for such suicides. But what exactly is the reason thousands of women are being forced to end their lives in this way?
According to the BBC, according to mental health experts, one of the major reasons for this is widespread domestic violence. According to a recent survey conducted by the Indian government, 30 per cent of women surveyed said they were victims of marital violence.
In addition, overwork in the in-laws’ home can make marital life oppressive and suffocating. The northern city of Varanasi psychologist said. Usha Verma Srivastava said, “Women are really tolerant; but there are limits to tolerance.
“Most of the girls get married before the age of 18. They then become someone’s wife and daughter-in-law. They have to work all day at home, including cooking and cleaning the house. They are also restricted in their movement. In very few cases, these women have the freedom to earn money. ”
“At one stage, women no longer have any dreams or ambitions about their educational and professional life. Despair consumes them as they are tortured. ” Frustrated, many of these women may have been forced to commit suicide.
However, in the case of older women, the cause of suicide is different. Verma. “Many feel emptiness when their children leave home when they grow up, which is called ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’. Again, many suffer from ‘peri-menopausal’ symptoms, which can lead to depression and depression.”
“But suicide can be easily prevented; whoever is going to commit suicide, even if he is stopped for a second, he will come back,” said Verma.
Soumitra Pathare, another psychiatrist, says, “Most suicides in India are emotional; the husband comes home, beats the wife, and the wife commits suicide.”
She said research has shown that one-third of Indian women who choose to commit suicide have a history of domestic violence. But the NCRB document did not cite domestic violence as the cause.
Chaitali Sinha, a psychologist at Weisser, a Bangalore-based mental health app, said, “Many women who are involved in domestic violence are better off physically and mentally because of the support of others.”
Chaitali Sinha has worked for three years in a government psychiatric hospital in Mumbai. He counseled those who survived the suicide attempt. “Women get a kind of emotional support by sharing their feelings with their neighbors while buying vegetables or traveling from one place to another on the train,” Sinha said.
“Women want to find a place to express their feelings, to feel good or to feel bad. When the men go out to work in the morning, the housewives lighten up by talking about happiness and sorrow with someone in their small circle. ”
“But they have lost that place because of the coronavirus epidemic. At this time of the epidemic, the abuse of wives has increased due to the long stay of husbands in the house. After enduring this torture, they had no place to lighten up. So over time, anger, sadness, frustration and suicide have become their last resort. ”
India is the top country in the world in suicide. Worldwide, about one-fourth of all suicides among 15- to 39-year-olds are committed by Indian men and 36 percent by Indian women. However, the actual number of suicides in India is much higher than that. Soumitra Pathare.
“Looking at the Million Death Study (a study of about 14 million people in 24 million households between 1996-2014) or the Lancet Study, it is clear that 30 to 100 per cent less suicides have been recorded in India,” he said.
The government is trying to take various initiatives nationally to prevent suicide in India. At such a time, Pathare said, “Data quality must be fixed first.” According to him, the number of suicides in India remains weak.
“The United Nations has set a goal of reducing the global suicide rate by one-third by 2030. But the suicide rate in India has increased by 10 per cent over the previous year. Reducing this number is still a dream,” he said.