Self-employed committed more suicides than farmers
New Delhi: India may be priding itself with
'animal spirit' of its entrepreneurs, but as many as 28,152
self-employed people committed suicides, 76 per cent more than
farmers' suicides, in 2010, according to official figures.
The self-employed persons (SEPs) in India had the dubious
distinction of committing the maximum number of suicides,
followed by housewives (25,058), as per the data compiled by
the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB).
Though the NCRB has not disaggregated the segments of the
people who resorted to suicides, experts feel the SEPs may
include professionals as well, including lawyers, accountants
The "animal spirit" phrase coined by renowned British
economist John Maynard Keynes, is often referred to Indian
entrepreneurs as well.
"They may include people from different sections of the
society-- doctors, legal professionals, SMEs or from the IT
sector. The reasons can be default in repaying loans, more
stress and not much external support...," Professor of
Psychiatry in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
R K Chadha said.
These NCRB figures were quoted by Agriculture Minister
Sharad Pawar in Parliament last week. "It (suicides) is not
just about the agriculturists, but of all...." he had said.
As many as 15,968 farmers took the desperate steps.
Others resorting to the extreme step included unemployed
(10,033). In all, 1,34,599 Indians committed suicides last
year, according to NCRB.
National Small Industries Corporation CMD H P Kumar said,
"SEPs include street vendors, traders, transport operators,
dhaba wallahs and provider of small services."
However, he added that it cannot be concluded that the
SEPs committed suicide because of financial reasons. There
could be social factors as well.