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The increasing rate of suicide, among Indian women is alarming. Read to know about the factors that contribute to this dangerous trend.
A recent study by the Indian Psychiatric Society suggests that women are three times more likely to attempt suicide than men. It also goes on to explain that out of these, 10-15% cases are impulsive, while most others can be prevented through timely intervention and psycho-social rehabilitative assistance.
According to a statement by the President of the Indian Psychiatric Society, Dr G Prasad Rao, ‘”My life is not worth living’, is the most common expression. And, if people around them can sense and intervene in time, then such cases can be prevented.”
The statistic and the rationale offered in explanation to the statistic, suggest that women are in a vulnerable and dangerous space. In a social set up that is fraught with patriarchal attitudes towards women, that is restrictive to their right to health and their un-stigmatized access to help and resources, it is all the more painful to note that this trend might just wind up continuing unchecked if the structural violence of patriarchy continues to be perpetuated in practice.
Earlier this year, the BBC shared an article by Soutik Biswas, asking, “Why are India’s housewives killing themselves?” The article suggested that female literacy, the level of exposure to the media and smaller family size, are all perhaps indicators of female empowerment, which were correlated with higher suicide rates for women in these age groups.
It also explained that suicide rates among housewives were the lowest in the most ‘traditional states’, where family sizes were big and extended families were common. Rates were found to be higher in states where households are closer to nuclear families – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
The subtext to this occurrence is pretty clear, in the way our systems are skewed against women: patriarchal social structures, hegemonic masculinity that reaches toxic proportions, constant honour-ification of the female identity and the burden of physical and mental strain with little to no psycho-social and medical support, can break anyone.
The treating of women as chattel and reassertion of these stereotypical views of women and the restraint on their freedom of access can be exceedingly suffocating and overwhelming. Coupled with the social stigma ascribed to a woman’s choice to seek help or to ask to address such matters, this skewed statistic is only reflective of a disturbing trend.
If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, here are some of the helplines available in India. Please call.
Aasra, Mumbai: 022-27546669
Sneha, Chennai: 044-2464 0050
Lifeline, Kolkata: 033-2474 4704
Sahai, Bangalore: 080–25497777
Roshni, Hyderabad: 040-66202000, 040-66202001
Image Source: Pixabay
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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