Mangaluru: The district legal services authority in association with the district administration, Zilla Panchayat, Police department, Mangaluru Bar council association, Health and family welfare department, Horticulture department, Government Wenlock hospital, Information department and district co-operative Society observed the World Suicide Prevention Day at Netravati hall, Zilla Panchayat here, on September 10.
Prl District and Sessions Judge, Uma M G inaugurated the programme by lighting the traditional lamp along with other dignitaries. Addressing the gathering, Uma M G said that approximately one million people commit suicide every year worldwide, that is one suicide death every 40 seconds, and 17% of these suicides are from India. Today, we see students, youth, newlyweds and even the aged committing suicide in the country. There are many complex reasons for why a person commits suicide and that is why this is a very difficult problem to tackle. Most of the people who commit this act in the country are farmers and youngsters. Farmers are the backbone of the country but we take them for granted. We do not hesitate to buy smartphones even if they are expensively priced, but if the price of vegetables and other farm produce is increased by a single rupee, we cry over it and get on the streets to protest. Sadly, even if the price of agricultural produce is increased exponentially, only the middlemen profit from it and the farmers are left with the same tiny amount that they would normally get.
Even today, most of the farmers of the country depend on the monsoon for their water requirement. But with the unpredictable changes in climate, it rains when it shouldn’t and does not even when it is needed badly, resulting it extensive damages to the crops through drought, floods and other calamities. Some people are strong; they do not give in even if they face many difficulties. But others are not so strong and they give in, accept defeat and take the extreme step thinking that it is the only way out.
Earlier, families were bigger, had very strong bonds, children were taught to respect all elders and everyone loved each other. But today, we only love money; family for us has become “me, my spouse and my child(ren)”. Today’s children also do not get any love or attention from their parents. It is a good sign for our country that today even women are working but at the same time, we have to reflect upon how the mother-child bond is being affected because of this work culture. Both parents go to work in the morning, the kid goes to school. The kid goes to tuition’s after school and comes back home only to find the maid while the parents are still at work and may arrive late in the night. Who will the kid share his/her joy, sorrow, pain with? This is the kind of situation that many kids face throughout the country. We need money for our daily needs but we should not let our bonds weaken in pursuit of money.
Some people say suicide is the permanent solution for any problem. When we face problems in our life, we think that suicide is the only solution. But if we take the time to think about it, then we realise that suicide is not the only option. Farmers do not get proper loans. Even if they do, they get only 25% of the loan from the government. They take the rest from private bankers and then take the extreme step when they are not able to repay the loan. Farmers do not know about loan waivers from the government. This information needs to reach them so that they know that there are other options to get out of loans, she added.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim said that humans have an inborn tendency to weakness. The people who commit suicides range from the poor to the rich, the young to the old. This extreme step has been on for centuries. We have to organise discussions on how to abate, lessen the rate of suicides. Farmers constitute the largest number of people who commit suicide in the country because our demographics is such that 70% of the population comprises of farmers and labour class.
ZP CEO Sreevidya and president of Mangalore Bar Association S P Chengappa also spoke on the occasion.
The dignitaries released an app, “Rakshak”, developed by the students of PA College of Engineering that acts as an automated distress notifier.
Ganesh Hiriyar welcomed the gathering. SP Dr Sharanappa, DCP Crime Sanjeev Patil, local farmers and others were also present. Thereafter, lectures were conducted for the farmers present by eminent psychiatrists of the district, Dr Ravish Tunga and Dr Srinivas Bhat.