Suicide by daily wagers doubled in India over 6 yrs, TN reports highest number

The report stated that in 2019, Tamil Nadu recorded the most number of suicides by daily wage earners - 5,186 cases

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Nearly 43,000 people engaged in farming sector and daily wage earners committed suicide in 2019, according to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data.

Excluding people from the farming sector, the number of suicides by daily wage labourers has doubled over the last six years to 23.5 percent in 2019, according to the NCRB.

As many as 32,563 daily wage earners ended their lives during the year and formed 23.4 per cent of the total suicide cases in the country, up from 30,132 in 2018, the data showed.

The report stated that in 2019, Tamil Nadu recorded the most number of suicides by daily wage earners – 5,186, followed by Maharashtra 4,128, Madhya Pradesh 3,964, Telangana 2,858, and Kerala 2,809.

As many as 10,281 people involved in farming sector (consisting of 5,957 farmers or cultivators and 4,324 agricultural labourers) killed themselves in 2019, accounting for 7.4 per cent of total suicide victims (1,39,123) in the country, it stated.

The suicide figures for people engaged in farming sector stood at 10,349 (7.7 per cent) of the total in 2018, previous data showed.

Source: NCRB

Out of 5,957 farmer or cultivator suicides in 2019, a total of 5,563 were male and 394 female. Out of the 4,324 suicides committed by agricultural labourers during 2019, 3,749 were male and 575 were female, the NCRB, which functions under the Union Home Ministry, stated.

Majority of victims engaged in farming sector were reported in Maharashtra (38.2 per cent), Karnataka (19.4 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (10 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (5.3 per cent) and Chhattisgarh and Telangana (4.9 per cent each), the data showed.

However, the NCRB stated that 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.

The upward trend was not only noticed in daily wage workers but also amid the unemployed population. In 2019, the proportion of the unemployed in suicides was noted at 10.1 per cent, reaching double digits for the first time in the 25 years that the NCRB has been keeping data since 1995, according to areport in The Indian Express.

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 categorization of suicides in 2019, daily wage earners (23.4 per cent) were the biggest chunk of such fatalities, followed by housewives (15.4 per cent).

They were followed by self-employed (11.6 per cent), unemployed (10.1 per cent), professionals or salaried people (9.1 per cent), students and persons engaged in farming sector (both 7.4 per cent), and retired persons (0.9 per cent), the data showed.

The NCRB stated that 14.7 per cent suicide victims fell in “other persons” category.

An educational background of the suicide victims revealed that of the total suicide victims, 12.6 per cent (17,588) were illiterate, while only 3.7 per cent  (5,185) were graduates and above, the data showed.

The maximum 23.3 per cent (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 per cent (27,323) such fatalities, it showed.

Primary-educated people formed 16.3 per cent (22,649) suicide cases, followed by higher secondary or intermediate or pre-university educated 14 per cent (19,508), it added.

The NCRB also noted that 66.7 per cent (92,757 out of 1,39,123) of the suicide victims were married, while 23.6 per cent were unmarried (32,852). Widowed/widower, divorcees and separated accounted for 1.8 per cent (2,472), 0.71 per cent (997) and 0.69 per cent (963), respectively, it stated.

(With inputs from agencies)