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Number of accidental deaths, suicides grew in 2019: NCRB

Image for representation purpose only.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

The cases of suicide and the number of accidental deaths registered an increase across the country last year compared to 2018, according to the annual National Crime Records Bureau report. The maximum cases of mass/family suicides were reported from Tamil Nadu (16), followed by Andhra Pradesh (14), Kerala (11) and Punjab (9) and Rajasthan (7).

Suicides in the country went up slightly from 1,34,516 to 1,39,123. Of the 97,613 male suicides, the maximum were daily wage earners (29,092), followed by self-employed persons (14,319) and the unemployed (11,599). Of the 41,493 females, over half were housewives.

Suicides by unemployed persons amounting to 14% were in Kerala (1,963), followed by 10.8% in Maharashtra, 9.8% in Tamil Nadu, 9.2% in Karnataka and 6.1% in Odisha. Majority of suicides by those in business activities were in Maharashtra (14.2%), Tamil Nadu (11.7%), Karnataka (9.7%), West Bengal (8.2%) and Madhya Pradesh (7.8%).

“Majority of victims engaged in farming sector were reported in Maharashtra (38.2% of 10,281), Karnataka (19.4%), Andhra Pradesh (10.0%), Madhya Pradesh (5.3%) and Chhattisgarh & Telangana (4.9% each),” said the report.

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The suicide rate in cities (13.9%) was higher compared to the all-India average. ‘Family problems (other than marriage related problems)’ (32.4%); ‘marriage related problems’ (5.5%); and ‘illness’ (17.1%) accounted for 55% of the total suicides.

The overall male-female ratio was 70.2:29.8. Nearly 68.4% of males were married and the ratio was 62.5% for female victims. While 12.6% of the total victims were illiterate, 16.3% had studied up to primary level, 19.6% up to middle level and 23.3% up to Matriculation level. Only 3.7% were graduates and above.

Suicide by ‘hanging’ (53.6%), ‘consuming poison’ (25.8%), ‘drowning’ (5.2%) and ‘self-immolation’ (3.8%) were the prominent means.

The majority of suicides were reported in Maharashtra (18,916), followed by 13,493 in Tamil Nadu, 12,665 in West Bengal, 12,457 in Madhya Pradesh and 11,288 in Karnataka. The States and UTs registering significant percentage increase were Bihar (44.7%), Punjab (37.5%), Daman & Diu (31.4%), Jharkhand (25.0%), Uttarakhand (22.6%) and Andhra Pradesh (21.5%).

The highest percentage decrease was in Lakshadweep (100%), Himachal Pradesh (21.1%), Chandigarh (18.1%), Arunachal Pradesh (15.2%) and Jammu & Kashmir (13.9%).

The maximum cases involving government servants were reported in Tamil Nadu (200 of 1,684), followed by Maharashtra (186), Rajasthan (166), Karnataka (135) and Madhya Pradesh (132).

Majority of suicides by those in private sector were in Maharashtra (1,807 of 8,730), Tamil Nadu (1,237), Gujarat (776), Karnataka (749) and Madhya Pradesh (688). Of the total student victims, 14.4% were from Maharashtra (1,487), followed by 9% in Madhya Pradesh (927), 8.8% in Tamil Nadu (914), 6.5% in Karnataka (673) and 5.8% in UP (603).

The numbers of suicides in 53 megacities showed an increasing trend during 2016 to 2019, with a 4.6% increase last year. Four metropolitan cities, Chennai (2,461), Delhi (2,423), Bengaluru (2,081) and Mumbai (1,229) reported higher cases.

In the Central Armed Police Forces, a total of 36 personnel died by suicide, 38.9% were due to “family problems”. Five such suicides were reported in Rajasthan, followed by four in Tamil Nadu. In all, 104 personnel died in various accidents.

Accidental deaths

Accidental deaths in the country increased by 2.3%. Compared to 4,11,824 in 2018, the figure stood at 4,21,104 last year.

The rate (per lakh population) increased from 31.1 to 31.5. The maximum casualties of 30.9% was reported in the 30-45 years age group, followed by 26% in the 18-30 years’ age group.

The highest rate was reported from Puducherry (72.8), followed by Chhattisgarh (68.6), Maharashtra (57.4), Haryana (54.3), Goa (51.5) and Madhya Pradesh (51.4).

Maharashtra reported the highest deaths (70,329), amounting to nearly one-sixth of the total figure. Uttar Pradesh, the most populous State, accounted for 9.6% cases, followed by Madhya Pradesh (10.1%).

A total of 8,145 deaths was due to the causes attributable to forces of nature, including 35.3% due to lightning, 15.6% by heat/sun stroke and 11.6% deaths in floods. Maximum deaths (400) due to lightning was reported each from Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, followed by Jharkhand (334) and Uttar Pradesh (321). In 53 megacities, only 5.1% of such deaths were reported.

In accidents due to other causes, 7,01,324 cases were reported, while 4,12,959 persons died and 4,46,284 persons were injured. The male-female fatality ratio was 80.9:19.1.

The major causes were ‘traffic accidents’ (43.9%), ‘sudden deaths’ (11.5%), ‘drowning’ (7.9%), ‘poisoning’ (5.1%), ‘falls’ (5.1%) and ‘accidental fire’ (2.6%). A majority (57.2%) of deaths was in the age groups of 18-45 years.

Over 11,000 cases of fire accidents were reported in 2019, claiming 10,915 lives and injuring 441 people. Drowning and poisoning caused 32,671 (7.9%) and 21,196 (5.1%) deaths.

A total of 4,67,171 ‘traffic accidents’, 1,788 ‘railway crossing accidents’ and 27,987 ‘railway accidents’ were reported. The accidents caused injuries to 4,42,996 people and 1,81,113 deaths. Maximum deaths (85.4%) were in road accidents. While 38% of the victims were two-wheeler riders, 14.6% involved trucks. A majority (59.6%) of accidents were due to over-speeding, which caused 86,241 deaths and 2,71,581 injuries.

Dangerous/careless driving or overtaking contributed to 25.7% road accidents, claiming 42,557 lives and leaving more than 1 lakh people injured.

Uttar Pradesh reported maximum cases of railway crossing accidents (851), accounting for 47.5% of total cases.

Chandigarh reported the highest percentage increase (71.1%) in total accidental deaths, followed by Bihar (19.6%), Jharkhand (16.8%), Himachal Pradesh (13.6%) and Kerala (11.8%). The decline was noticed in Nagaland (26.7%), Dadar & Nagar Haveli (23.9%), Arunachal Pradesh (18.9%) and Lakshadweep (16.7%).

A total of 1,141 incidents of consumption of illicit/spurious liquor caused 1,296 deaths. Karnataka reported 268 deaths, followed by 191 in Punjab, 190 in Madhya Pradesh, 115 each in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, 98 in Assam and 88 in Rajasthan.

The 53 megacities reported 61,404 accidental deaths — the maximum of 9,246 in Mumbai, followed by Delhi (4,516), Bengaluru (4,016), Pune (3,949), Jaipur (2,628) and Surat (2,353).

Those who require assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts may contact Sanjivini, Society for Mental Health suicide prevention helpline 011-4076 9002 (10 a.m. to 7.30 p.m., Monday-Saturday).

Suicide prevention helplines

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 3:10:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ncrb-releases-annual-report-on-suicides-and-accidental-deaths/article32496628.ece

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