‘Walk of Life’ by Susheg Lifeline brings Awareness on Suicide and its Prevention in City

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‘Walk of Life’ by Susheg Lifeline brings Awareness on Suicide and its Prevention in City

Mangaluru : Even though it was unfortunate to have Bharath Bandh, where many educational institutions were closed as per DC’s order, but still nearly 300 plus enthusiastic and determined citizens of Mangaluru, including Young and Old got up early, while the rest were still enjoying their nap, and joined in the Awareness Walk’ named ‘Walk of Life’organized by Susheg Lifeline, affiliated with Susheg Charitable Trust, Mangaluru. Established under the aegis of Susheg Charitable Trust (Regd.) with support from leading educational institutions like St. Agnes College, St. Aloysius College, Roshni Nilaya and a number of concerned citizens and philanthropists, the Suicide Lifeline became operational in Mangaluru in October 2017. Suicide prevention, promotion of mental health, creating awareness, training volunteers, sensitizing the community and publishing literature on mental wellness are the objectives of the lifeline. Twenty-five trained volunteers are attending to distress calls twenty-four hours a day seven days a week.

The Suicide Lifeline (0824) 2983444 has been a ray of hope for more than 60 callers since its inception, and their teams of facilitators have also addressed administrators, teachers and students in and around Mangaluru on topics related to mental health and well being. Monday, September 10th, 2018 was commemorated as “World Suicide Prevention Day” with the theme “Working together to Prevent Suicide” and the Suicide Lifeline had organized a ‘Walk for Life’ on this day to sensitize the community and to generate awareness on suicide and its prevention. The Walk commenced from the St Aloysius College Parking Lot near Light House Hill Road-Mangaluru at 7 am and proceeded down LHH Road, Hampankatta, and culminated at Nehru Maidan (Football ground). Students from Colleges in and around Mangaluru, NGOs and concerned citizens joined in the ‘Walk for Life’ holding placards- and there wasa a placard contest on suicide prevention for students and prizes were awarded for the most creative and educative placards.

Clad in informal attire in jeans and jacket, the most enthusiastic, energetic and very supportive Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil, IAS released the balloons to mark the inauguration of “World Suicide Prevention Day”and later Flagged off the Walkathon. Prior to the flag off, DC Senthil addressing the agthering said, “This is a very good initiative taken by Susheg Lifeline in bringing awareness on Suicide and how it can be prevented. Its sad to note that many youth are committing or attempting suicides for simple and silly reasons- and in that situation the help of parents, adults and NGO’s like Susheg Trust is very much needed. Parents need to spend time with their children when they see strange behaviour in their children or when when they see any signs of distress in them. Parents need to act fast before it is too late. Awareness programmes like these will surely send out the message, thereby suicides could be prevented”

Suicide survivors Ms Shilpa of “Hallimane Rottis” and Simon, currently a cobbler at Fr Muller Hospital also joined the DC in the release the balloons. Narrating their life testimony, 35-year-old Shilpa, a home-maker turned entrepreneur, in her life story, which she calls it one of ‘accidental success.’ said, ” I am a single mother not even finished school, dropped out after Class 10, and never thought myself incapable of managing even my household before I started her business. It was my circumstances, not a decision to become an entrepreneur, that led to the starting of this business. The local residents supported my initiative, and it just clicked. I am a native of Hassan, raised in a well-to-do agriculturist family, along with my younger brother Chiranjeevi. We had a carefree childhood. Our family never insisted on me doing any of the household chores. But I was personally interested in experimental cooking,” .

Shilpa further said, “In 2005, I moved to Mangaluru with my three-year-old son to live with my husband Rajshekar, a city-based businessman.Things sailed smoothly for a while, and some time after I moved there, I even invited my parents and brother to move in with me. However, in February 2008, my husband who operated a transportation fleet for a Bellary based mining firm, left to Bengaluru for some work. That was the last time I saw him. He was out of contact, and while we all looked for him it wasn’t successful. We even filed a missing complaint, but to no avail. Even his mobile phone was switched off. I went into depression, and no family or friends said or did seemed to help me. Meanwhile, my parents fell sick. The bills were mounting. I had to look after my child, parents and brother, but barely had any cash in hand. I was about to end my life. But my firm decision to start my own small mobile canteen business saved me, with the help of all my customers”

Another suicide survivor, Simon originally from Bidar, now living in Talapady, Mangaluru addressing the gathering said, “Since the age of 12 I was affected with leprosy, which put me into depression while reached my later age. In 1988 I came to Mangaluru for treatment at Fr Muller hospital, and I am grateful to everyone at Fr Muller’s for giving me a new life. having affected with leprosy, I was so distressed that I attempted to commit suicide three times, but was saved. In 1992 I got married, and now I am a proud father of two boys, one married, other doing his college in MBA. All I want to say is that if you are depressed or distressed don’t lose hope and commit suicide, take advice and help from others or Susheg Lifeline”.

Ms Patsy Lobo, a volunteer with Susheg Lifeline briefed about the Walkathon, before it commenced. It was a nice weather, and everyone enjoyed the morning “Walk of Life” aimed for a good cause. Due to the hectic situation due to Bharath bandh, Police Commissioner T. R. Suresh IPS who was suppose to address the gathering at Nehru Maidan at around 8:30 am couldn’t make it, instead Philanthropist Abdul Rauf Puthige addressed the gathering. To spread awareness in the community, the automobile stickers issued in public interest by Brian Fernandes of Ms Spearhead Media Ltd and his team was released by Abdul Puthige. Ms Patsy Lobo then requested everyone to take a pledge which stated, “I pledge that I will tell someone If I needed help. Beware of the signs of distress in others. Seek Help if someone I know is at risk . Listen without judgement and do what I can to keep them safe”.

Judging the placards, which some read “HOPE-Hold On Pain Ends”; Suicide is Never a Solution”; “Hanging Up Your Futures, Not Yourself”; “Where There is a Life There is Hope”; “Living is Better than Leaving-Plan a Life than to Die”; :Never Kill Yourself”etc etc- and the winners were – 1st Place-AJ Institute of Dental Science; 2nd place St Aloysius College; and 3rd place- Nitte College. Dr Derick Lobo delivered the vote of thanks. Sr Marie Evelyn AC and Dr Lavinha Noronha have both played a very important part in this unique project-kudos to them!

Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Dr Noronha said “Suicide prevention, promotion of mental health, creating awareness, training volunteers, sensitizing the community and publishing literature on mental wellness are the objectives of this lifeline. Twenty-five trained volunteers are attending to distress calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Suicide Lifeline (0824) 2983444 has been a ray of hope for more than 60 callers since its inception. Not only we are getting calls from in and around Mangaluru, from India, but also from abroad, like Gulf Countries, Philippines etc Our teams of facilitators have also addressed administrators, teachers and students in and around Mangaluruon topics related to mental health and well-being.”

In conclusion, it’s very sad to note that we hear about many suicides committed, especially by youth in DK/Mangaluru. Many youth commit suicide either by consuming poison, jump in the well, hanging, so on- due to simple reasons like failing in their exams, or if they didn’t do well in their exams, or due to some love affair. Not just youth, even adults end their lives due to depression or health issues. Do whatever it takes – do anything – to keep yourself alive until you feel safe again. Life-It is worth protecting. It is worth preserving. It is worth fighting for. Your true self remains in you, reliant upon your choices now. You are the future healer, prophet, activist, writer, poet, musician, artist, lover, father, mother, and creator of a better world. Not this one – a better one. That’s where you belong – that’s why your soul is crying out, every day, every second, so loud that you can’t ignore it.

Don’t give up. Not yet. So hold on with both fists, with your knuckles, with a death grip – hold on with all of your might! Fight for it! This life in your hands was a gift, it’s yours, chosen for you and you alone, and it’s your chance to help heal, to help fix this dying, polluted, messed up world that we’ve created, and return it to its true beauty and restore the sense of balance that we so desperately need. Hold on to whatever goodness you can find. Hold on to anything that remains hopeful for you – perhaps the beauty in a sunset, the joy of loving your friends or family, the promises of your own beliefs, the possibilities of the future… Find that goodness. Find it in another person, in a creature, in whatever you can. And if you are in distress and need help, there is help available right here, locally! “Life is a war. Doctors fight disease. Lawyers fight injustice. Teachers fight ignorance. Suicide Lifeline of Susheg Charitable Trust-Susheg Lifeline fights to prevent suicide. Please – don’t give up and end your life. Not yet. We need you. And don’t give up on yourself either. There are other options.

Susheg Lifeline Needs Your Help Those in Distress-Let me end this column with the thought Provoking lyrics from the song “We Are The World” on YouTube-

So if you are distressed don’t commit suicide, instead get HELP from Susheg Lifeline- call them at (Ph): 0824-2983444; 73382 01234
Email: susheglifeline@gmail.com, or stop by at their office:

SUICIDE LIFELINE (A unit of Susheg Charitable Trust (Regd.)

Aasare Women’s Foundation, Vishwas Crown Basement, Old Bypass Road, Mangaluru-575002
(Ph): 0824-2983444; 73382 01234 Email : susheglifeline@gmail.com

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