According to the reports of the NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau), deaths caused due to suicides because of unemployment rose by 24% in four years, from 2016-2019. This report is made before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country in 2019, which also resulted in heavier job losses. NCRB also presented the data of suicides, in Parliament, of children between the age of 14-18 years. According to the report, 24,000 such deaths occurred in the span of two years, 2017-2019. 2,851 people committed suicide because of unemployment in the country in the year 2019 alone, increasing from 2,298 in 2016.
According to the data of NCRB, Karnataka tops the list with the maximum number of suicides due to unemployment with 553 deaths, followed by Maharashtra with 452, and Tamil Nadu with 251 registered deaths. The report which NCRB presented in the parliament on the 24,000 suicides by the children of 14-18 years of age between 2017-2019, gives the failure in examination the major reason for suicide among these teenagers. 4000 teenagers committed suicide just because they failed in exams or that they feared failing in examinations. Of these 24000 children, 13,325 were girls of the age group of 14-18, who died by suicide between 2017-2019.
In Karnataka, 224 suicides cases were reported in 2016, 375 cases in 2017, and 464 cases in 2018, which reportedly increased to 553 cases in 2019, and all these cases are just the cause of unemployment. Drm Senthil Kumar Reddi, Professor of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), has said, “The NCRB data on suicides due to unemployment may have to be understood cautiously and contextually,”, further adding to his statement he said, “We do not have the additional information on the background factors because of which these people had lost their employment.
Sudden loss of a job or a setback may have been the final straw, not the only reason for them to end their lives,”. Dr. Senthil said that suicides cannot be attributed to one single factor of unemployment, rather it can happen due to several other factors, for instance, depression, aggression, adverse childhood abuse, impulsivity, etc. ST Ramesh, former DG, and IGP said that suicide is a social issue, and in 90% of the cases the motive behind the suicide is revealed.
He said, “Suicides, which are registered as unnatural deaths, will be probed to know the motive behind the extreme step. There may be multiple issues such as poverty, unemployment, health issues, dowry harassment, etc, for a person to end life. In many cases, people leave a suicide note stating the reason why they are ending their lives. It will be considered as the motive, while in other cases the motive will be decided based on inquiry of family members and others.”
The worst affected states by suicide due to unemployment are Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat. NCRB compiles the information and records it in its publication titled ‘Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India’.