It was in 1977 that a healthy and normal woman who was our neighbour committed suicide by jumping into a well. This was the first instance of suicide that is deep-rooted in my mind, even after 45 years.
In 2004, on a bright sunny afternoon, one of the famous surgeons of Bangalore met at my office and spent a quality 30 minutes discussing his estimated professional income for the year, tax planning, etc. That night, he gets into the car on the way to his house and takes an injection. Morning walkers in his area noticed the dead doctor in a parked car! What a rude shocker it was! Hundreds of patients were lined up, looking up to him to save their lives; he was a Demi-God to his patients. He was a role model for many young medical students and newly qualified surgeons. If required, a battalion of people would have come to his rescue to save his life. What really went wrong is a mystery even to this date.
No one would have imagined that a happy mother (aged about 35 years) and daughter who were spending every evening with other kids, playing badminton, walking, jogging, etc. in our apartment complex would commit suicide! This recent incident is still fresh in my mind; taking time to heal from the shock.
Today, 10th September is observed as World Suicide Prevention Day. Is suicide such a big cause of death? The shocking revelations are –
- About 3000 people commit suicide every day (which means 10 lakh people per year).
- It is the 13th major cause of death.
- 75% of them are male.
- People who attempt suicide are much higher; for every 20 people who attempt suicide, one person dies.
What are the main causes of suicide?
I am not a subject expert on medical or mental illness. But all I know is that financial stress can make people think of attempting suicide. Financial hardship, unfortunately, is a common problem across the globe.
It is hard to solve the inevitably (naturally) occurring financial hardship, (though suicide is not the solution) but the invited financial trouble is avoidable.
On this Suicide Prevention Day, let us resolve that–
- We will not stretch beyond our means to acquire fancy houses, cars, or any luxuries. The grand old saying in Kannada ಹಾಸಿಗೆ ಇದ್ದಷ್ಟು ಕಾಲು ಚಾಚು (or cut your coat according to the cloth) is a perfect way to live.
- We will not blindly expand the business which may wipe out the wealth and bring tears to all concerned.
No matter what others say about our status in society, be financially prudent and truthful to ourselves. Let alone suicide, even the word ‘suicide’ should not form part of our dictionary.