Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable.The religion of Islam strictly prohibits suicide act and even restricts on offering the funeral prayers of such a person. The Jammu and Kashmir despite being the Muslim majority Union territory, There has been alarming rate of suicides particularly among youth and women for the past many years. An increasing suicide rate in the valley is a matter of grave concern and the repercussions of suicide are far and wide impacting families, friends, colleagues, communities and societies at large. Close to 800000 people die every year due to suicide. As per the data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), The Jammu and kashmir recorded a total of 5,943 cases between 1990 and 2019. In 2019, the Jammu and Kashmir recorded 284 suicides. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.The young youth and women of kashmir valley are taking their precious lives daily by jumping into water bodies, strangulation, consuming poisonous substances etc. The daily suicides by the youth and women present an alarming and grim situation in the valley and are showing the level of mental stress, anxiety and trauma faced by victims and their families due to multiple reasons that need urgent attention and prompt action by all sections and stakeholders of our society. The Kashmir valley has been already grappling with other issues like Domestic violence, unemployment, covid 19 pandemic, inflation, surging prices, economic failures, political instability etc but due to continuous lockdowns since 2019, the Suicide rate has been increased and has sent chill down the spine across the valley residents. What drive young youth and women to commit suicides, many reasons are responsible for increasing suicides: depression, anxiety, unemployment, bankruptcy, failure in examination and business , professional/career problems, sense of isolation, abuse, violence, conflict, disaster, domestic violence, family and marriage problems, mental disorders, drug addiction, addiction to alcohol, financial loss, property dispute chronic pain, family history of psychiatric illness etc are reasons for committing the suicide among the youth and women in kashmir valley. The covid 19 pandemic lockdowns has led to increased emotional and financial drain instability in jobs, uncertainty, depressive and anxiety features that have become the potent factors of rising suicides.
Let us wake up and understand the importance of precious life and not end over small worthless things that has serious repercussions on family in particular and society in general.
Suicides and suicide attempts have drastic impacts on families, friends, colleagues, communities and societies. Suicides are preventable; it can be prevented at individual, community and national levels. For prevention of suicides, various constructive steps are to be needed. First and foremost is imparting religious education to the youth and women in particular and society in general. Religious clerics and Masjid Imams can play an important role in prevention of the suicides by imparting strong religious values and strengthening the faith that help the youth and women from taking the extreme and drastic step. Skill development among youth of jammu and Kashmir should be encouraged and new avenues for showing these skills should be made available, Creating more employment opportunities for the youth and financial assistance to the poor families by the government, Strict implementation of domestic violence act, setting up of more mental health and counseling centers, and organizing co curricular activities for the youth can also work to some extent in curing the social evil. Parents should be more expressive and observe and understand their children and appreciate their individual personalities. They should not play with their emotions as children are sensitive and emotionally weak and have less tolerance like women. Teachers, NGOs, Psychologists and sociologist can play an important role by spreading awareness among the people against the rising social evil of suicide. Reducing the availability of and access to pesticides, blanket ban on alcohol and drugs, positive role of media in awareness and sharing success stories of youth and women can also prevent suicides among the youth and women in the kashmir valley. Let us wake up and understand the importance of precious life and not end over small worthless things that has serious repercussions on family in particular and society in general.
(The author is a teacher at Govt Boys Higher Secondary School Beerwah. Views are his own)