The latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data has revealed that nearly 43,000 daily wage earners and those engaged in the farming sector have committed suicide in 2019. In total, 1,39,123 suicides have been recorded in 2019, as per the official data.
This includes as many as 32,563 daily wage earners that formed 23.4% of the total suicides in the country. The number also indicates an increase in suicides from that of the previous year (30,132 in 2018) among the daily wagers.
In the farming sector, a total of 10,281 people ended their lives in 2019. Of them, 5,957 were farmers or cultivators and 4,324 agricultural labourers. This accounts for 7.4 of the total suicide victims in the country, the NCRB data showed.
The suicide figures for people engaged in the farming sector stood at 10,349 (7.7%) of the total in 2018, previous data showed.
Out of 5,957 farmer or cultivator suicides in 2019, a total of 5,563 were male and 394 female. Of the 4,324 suicides committed by agricultural labourers during 2019, 3,749 were male and 575 were female, stated NCRB, which functions under the Union Home Ministry.
A majority of victims engaged in the farming sector were reported in Maharashtra (38.2%), Karnataka (19.4%), Andhra Pradesh (10%), Madhya Pradesh (5.3%) and Chhattisgarh and Telangana (4.9% each), the data showed.
However, according to the NCRB, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi UT, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported “zero suicides” of farmers or cultivators as well as agricultural labourers.
Altogether, India reported 1,39,123 suicides during 2019, up from 1,34,516 in 2018 and 1,29,887 in 2017, the data showed. In profession-wise categorisation of suicides in 2019, daily wage earners (23.4%) were the biggest chunk of such fatalities, followed by housewives (15.4%).
They were followed by self-employed (11.6%), unemployed (10.1%), professionals or salaried people (9.1%), students and persons engaged in farming sector (both 7.4%), and retired persons (0.9%), the data showed.
The NCRB stated that 14.7% suicide victims fell in “other persons” category.
An educational background of the suicide victims revealed that of the total suicide victims, 12.6% (17,588) were illiterate, while only 3.7% (5,185) were graduates and above, the data showed. The maximum 23.3% (32,427) people who killed themselves in 2019 were educated up to matriculation or secondary level, whereas middle-level educated persons accounted for 19.6% (27,323) such fatalities, it showed. Primary-educated people formed 16.3% (22,649) suicide cases, followed by higher secondary or intermediate or pre-university educated 14% (19,508), it added.
The NCRB also noted that 66.7% (92,757 out of 1,39,123) of the suicide victims were married, while 23.6% were unmarried (32,852). Widowed/widower, divorcees and separated accounted for 1.8% (2,472), 0.71% (997), and 0.69% (963), respectively, it stated.
(With inputs from agencies)
(Please reach out to a mental health specialist if you need support or know someone who does. Helplines: AASRA: +91 98204 66726; SAHAI: 080 25497777)