Cases of suicide are on the rise in the city and not a day passes without at least one case being reported.

Inquiries by police into various cases have shown that the common causes for committing suicide are marital problems, extra-marital affairs, dowry harassment, health ailments, financial or occupational problems, low self-esteem, drug abuse, alcoholism and depression. The means of committing suicide are hanging, consuming poison, self-immolation and taking an overdose of sedatives.

The concern is that the productive group are more prone to committing suicides than other age groups.

Statistics reveal that 327 cases of suicides were reported in 2008, 371 in 2009 and 326 in 2010. At least 284 suicide cases were reported in the city during January-August of 2011. Though Section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of the Indian Penal Code is very much in place, the police do not register cases under this section. This is to avoid further trauma to the person who had attempted suicide. To curb suicides, a district advisory committee for crime against women was formed in 2001. But for the past two-and-half year, no meeting has been conducted.

N.S. Mony, city-based psychiatrist, says attempting suicide is not a solution for day-to-day problems. A committee comprising district administrators, police officers, NGOs, media personnel and voluntary organisations should be formed, where people can express their grievances, Mr.. Mony feels. He says that spiritual messages and film documentaries depicting the positive aspects of life can be helpful in creating awareness among the people on the futility of suicide.

City Police Commissioner Amaresh Pujari says it is disheartening to see that even for petty reasons people, especially teenagers, take their own lives.

Mr. Pujari requests people to approach the anti-suicide prevention centre functioning round-the-clock at the Modern Police Control Room at the Commissioner's Office. The anti-suicide helpline number is 0422-6456459.

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