Financial problems and poor health drove them to take the extreme step

A 27-year-old painter committed suicide in Ayanavaram in the early hours of Tuesday.

The poor income he earned at his job resulted in depression and led S. Rajesh to hang himself at his residence in Tiruvallur Nagar.

He is not the only person to have resorted to the extreme step on the day. In a span of 24 hours between Monday and Tuesday, six persons hanged themselves in their houses or in public places in north Chennai.

Rajesh, who got married less than a year ago and was expecting a child, had told his father a day before his death that he was unsure of supporting his family on the low income he earned, his family say.

“Like others, he too loved his family. For the past few weeks, he was confused on how he was going to run his family. We consoled him but he might have still had that fear that cost his life,” said K. Sundar, a relative.  

Thirty-eight-year-old Siraj Nisha took her life after suffering a bout of ill health. A resident of Netaji Nagar in R.K. Nagar, Nisha had health problems and had been suffering from severe stomach pain for the past two days. After prolonged treatment failed, Nisha hanged herself from a fan at her house.

Similar was the case of 55-year-old K. Selvam, a construction worker in Ambedkar nagar of Korukupettai. Selvam, who suffered from tuberculosis, hanged himself at a temple in Korukupettai as he was unable to bear the pain caused by the disease.

S. Jayaraman (28), an autodriver in Kodungaiyur, K .Sekar (52), a construction worker in New Washermenpet, and R. Senthil Kumar (28), who was also a construction worker in Vyasarpadi, too, hanged themselves in their houses.

Debts and family problems are said to be the reasons behind their deaths.

Cases under section 174 of IPC were registered.

“The trend is disturbing. Unlike in north India where people express their anger, people in south India do not express their anger and suppress it. This depresses them further and lead them to commit suicide,” said Dr. Lakshmi Vijayakumar, founder, Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre.

The city-based Centre has done a detailed study on suicides in the city, especially in the northern neighbourhoods and found that domestic disputes, drug abuse, alcoholism and chronic diseases are some of the major reasons for suicides in the age group of 30 and 44 years, especially among men.

According to results of the study, the largest number of suicides committed by people aged between 19 years and 25 years are by women as they struggle to find an independent career, breaking away from traditions. The conflict drives them to commit suicide.

Also, it was found that a considerable number of people committed suicide due to failure of relationships, poverty and failure in examinations.

“Adequate support system including parental care should be in place to help depressed individuals to cope with the stress,” said Dr. Vijayakumar, who is also a consultant psychiatrist with the World Health Organisation.

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