Suicide a curse of the educated in India

It is often believed that education is the key to happiness and prosperity in everyone’s life.

Last Updated: Oct 21, 2013, 13:11 PM IST

Rashi Aditi Ghosh/Zee Research Group

It is often believed that education is the key to happiness and prosperity in everyone’s life. The general perception, however, seems to be wrong. As per the latest National Crime Records Bureau-2012 (NCRB) report, educated men and women are less likely to commit suicide than their non-educated counterparts.

A Zee Research Group analysis of the NCRB report reveals that the suicide rate amongst literate people is higher compared to people with no education.

While 81.3 per cent of literate people committed suicides in 2012, 19.7 per cent of illiterate people took the extreme step to end their lives in 2012.

In 2011, as against 80 per cent of literate suicide victims, 10.9 per cent illiterate people contributed to suicidal deaths.

Reasoning excessive pressure and lack of job opportunities for increasing number of suicides amongst educated people, Ripan Sippy, a clinical psychologist from Delhi said, “After completion of education when one fails to get a decent job they slip into deep depression and isolation. This is the time when their mental imbalance forces them to kill themselves.”

As matter of fact, suicidal deaths within people educated up to primary level and middle level accounted the most at 23.0 per cent in 2012.

Similarly in 2012, 3.4 per cent suicide victims were graduated and 0.6 per cent victims were post-graduated.

NCRB also reports that in 2012, the percentage of men suicide victims both in literate and illiterate category is higher than their women counterparts.

While 66.2 per cent of literate male committed suicide in 2012, 61 per cent of illiterate male killed themselves in 2012.

The issue of higher suicidal deaths amongst educated people has also been raised in another report published in the British Medical journal -The Lancet (Released on June 22’2012).

According to the Lancet study, educated persons were at greater risk of completing a suicide.

The report further shows that the risk of completing a suicide was 43 per cent higher in men, who finished secondary or higher education, in comparison to those who had not completed primary education. Among women, the risk increased to 90 per cent.

Commenting on rising risk of men committing suicides, Atit Rajpara, men rights activist said, “Social expectations in Indian families forces every man to earn for the entire family. When you fail to meet expectations and lack every bit of support to vent your feelings, you take the extreme step of killing yourself.”